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Who May Baptize?


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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I would like to add a few comments from a pastor's perspective:

#1 - The entire great commission is both an individual and church responsibility.

As an individual we have the God-given responsibility to give out the gospel and to disciple those who get saved. Baptism is the very first step of OBedience for a child of God and because of this no discipleship can happen until the newly saved believer is baptized. The local church is Biblically responsible for the oversight of the great commission and is the only institution that has Christ's authority to baptize people. In the case of Philip, he was a deacon in the church at Jerusalem sent out to proclaim the gospel (in other words, he was a preacher). He baptized under the authority of that church.

#2 - A local church (under the pastor's direction) can authorize anyone to do the baptizing. By Biblical example this individual should be a God-called preacher.

#3 - If someone is baptize outside of the authority of a local church then that particular local church has every right not to recognize the baptism as being scriptural.

#4 - In our Baptist churches, baptism is generally linked to church membership. This means that if the baptism is not considered to be scriptural then the person will not be permitted to be a member of that church.

#5 - Since most Baptist churches restrict communion to those who are members of their particular Baptist church then it is OBvious why the girl is not allowed to partake of communion since she is more than likely not considered to be a member.

Sincerely,
Bro Steve Smith


Thank you!

Is there biblical grounds for denying believers partaking in the Lord's Supper if they aren't members of a particular local church?
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With modern technology private affairs can be made very public. We did this at a public place where others were able to watch. We took still pictures and sent emails out to friends both saved and unsaved sharing the gospel with them.

That's great; I wasn't saying you did this privately...was just pointing out that baptism, as an ordinance of the church (Baptist doctrine teaches that baptism by immersion is one of two ordinances of the church), baptism should be carried out in the context of the local church, with accountability to a pastor, whom God has ordained to shepherd that church. Many pastors (like mine) are flexible with who may baptize members. It might be time to find a different church (or, as Happy said, go and talk to the pastor for clarification) if you don't think something is being done right, according to Scripture.

I don't understand scripturally how an ordained minister is needed to baptize. I just don't find it.

Who, in Scripture, baptized people? I think you'll find a clear precedent if you do a study on it. (And come back and let us know what you find out! I've never studied it, but I can't think of baptism ever being performed by anyone who wasn't an ordained minister of Christ.) I mean, can anyone off the street who claims the name of Christ baptize somebody? Does just anybody (my saved eleven year old, my mom, my friend who just got saved) have that authority? See how order can break down when "anything goes" and there's no accountability to a local church? I do think that, since baptism is an ordinance of the church, and pastors/deacons/bishops/elders are set up by God as the leaders of the church, baptism should be approved and overseen by these people.

Plus, Philip baptized the Ethiopian eunuch without a Church watching.

Good point...but this would appear to be of necessity (and, really, his whole entourage would have witnessed his confession of faith). People in the NT appeared to be baptized the very same day that (or as soon as possible after) they trusted Christ for salvation; they thought of baptism like we think of "praying the prayer": it was their immediate expression of their faith. It joined them to the community of faith. Local churches back then weren't what they are now; they were in the early stages of formation. (We don't hear of people formally "joining a local church," going forward to an altar, etc., back then, either, for this reason and others.) But, as we study and put together everything the NT says about churches and how they should be governed, and who performed baptisms, we can see a "big picture" emerge. Among other things, baptism is a public profession of faith; it is carried out by ordained ministers of the gospel. The people God has placed in charge of His church on earth are pastors/deacons/elders/bishops. The members of each flock are accountable to the man God has ordained to shepherd that flock (Hebrews 13:17).

I think it's interesting that you are concerned that your children will not be allowed to take communion in the church if they weren't baptized in the church. Why can't you treat communion like you treat baptism...as something that can take place outside the local church...say, around the family dinner table or something? The reason is that communion, like baptism, centers around the local church, and participation in/accountability to that church...Baptism and the Lord's Table are the two ordinances of the church that are recognized by Baptists, and celebrated as a body. Your desire to have your children baptized outside the church, but to take communion in the church appears a bit inconsistent, to me, anyway.

To sum up, my advice would be 1)to talk again for the pastor, asking for clarification, and 2) find another church to attend if there doesn't appear to be a way of resolving the issue. Edited by Annie
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It seems that Baptists are descended from the Anabapists and they began when two baptised each other.

Perhaps...I'm no expert in Baptist history, but all movements have to start somewhere. (Picturing this is a bit comical, though. :)) I wonder if either or both of these men were ordained ministers of one sort or another...at least we could say that they were "ordained" by God to start the Anabaptist movement.

John the Baptist is the first person we see baptizing people. He was OBviously ordained by God to point people to Christ, and to baptize Him. So, he got his authority from God Himself. Following in John's footsteps are more baptizers who, without exception, were specifically given authority from God to perform this ordinance. I think it would be dangerous and fallacious, given the strong precedent of Scripture, to say that just any Christian, male or female, old or young, ordained or non-ordained, has the authority from God to baptize. That authority was not given to just anyone in Scripture.

"Let everything be done decently and in order" (I Corinthians 14).
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Are all believers called to "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, batpizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" or is this only for those specifically called to the ministry; such as apostles, pastors, missionaries, etc.?

I think there are other Scriptures which inform our thinking on this. I think it is OBvious that I (although I have been a believer since childhood and have gladly shared my faith throughout my life) am not supposed to be baptizing people. Would you agree? If so, I don't understand why you'd ask this question. (I would agree with Brother Smith's answers on this, except perhaps the closed communion bit. I think there's room for opening communion up for anyone who has been saved and baptized. Of course, no one can see inside a heart...not even the hearts of those in his congregation. My points have simply been that both baptism and the Lord's Table take place within the local church context, not outside it.)
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I am in a little heat at our local IFB Church because I allowed my Dad to baptize our daughter. He is called to preach, but not under IFB standards. I searched the Bible and didn't see a reason where I shouldn't allow my dad to do this. I don't see why others in a Church can't perform a baptism of a new believer. My dad Baptized our daughter at a local lake.

So, I wonder what others could add to this question, "Who May Baptize?"

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them…”

As a side note, it seems my daughter can't partake of communion at our Church since we followed through with this baptism. Is this normal IFB doctrine being followed?



A true New Testament Church has the authority to baptize. Its customary for the pastor to do the baptizing, yet he baptizes under the authority of the New Testament Church. And actually it seems the New Testament Church can designate any man that is a member of their church to do the baptizing.

I have not read all the replies, prOBably some of them may think this authority rests in the hands of the ordained pastor, yet if one will go to the Bible, study it out, they will find that an ordained pastor has no authority if he is not under the authority of a New Testament Church.



Mt 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Mt 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mt 28:20 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.

Mt 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
Mt 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Mt 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Yes, during this period we ofaten call the church age, the authority is the local New Testament Church, and local New Testament Church only, of course yoiu can only tell that its a true local New Testament Church by chaecking to see if it abides by the instructions that the "Holy Scriptures" lays out.
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
Is there biblical grounds for denying believers partaking in the Lord's Supper if they aren't members of a particular local church?


1 Corinthians 11:18,19 - "For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you."

In these verses we find that divisions cause heresies (false doctrine). The Lord's supper is supposed to bring the church together as a unified body. But instead we find divisions and heresies.

The heresy that has taken over the protestant churches (and even a lot of Baptist churches) is the practice of open communion (which allows anyone to partake). I have never accepted that position but for many years I believed (and I am sure many of you do too) in close communion (which allowed members from churches of like faith and order to partake).

In the past few years I came to realize that closed communion (restricting communion to the members of a particular church) is the Biblical way. Why? It all has to do with church discipline. A non-member (even if he or she is of like faith and order) is not under the authority of that local church and therefore the church does not have the right to offer them communion. After all, the Lord's supper is a local church ordinance.

Sincerely,
Bro Steve Smith
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The person that is suppose to baptise is the person that witnessed to that person when Jesus Christ saved them and baptized them with the Holy Spirit. This is the example that the bible gives. That person is the ONLY one that God choose. If He wanted to choose someone else to witness and baptise, he will. And natural preachers save and baptise a lot of people not because they are merchants that beguile actual witnesses to bring them people they can't be used to save themselves, but because God uses them to witness and save people. Ordained by God, and not men.

Its a sin not to baptise them yourself if God choose you to be the witness that saved them. Whether you bring them in front of your brothers and sisters in Christ or act like Philip in Acts is how God directs you in the matter. But God chose you to witness to them when he used you to save them, and to not do what he commanded - to also baptise them, is a sin.

It is specifically this sin that is the initial witchcraft of the Great Whore and all her harlot daughters. As the Roman Catholic catchism says of their baptism, which they put on the forehead of the believer, it leaves an indelible mark. All her harlot daughters practice similiar trade in different degrees.

Baptism was given to the church. Allowing a harlot church to take part in it is commiting fornication.

You just witnessed a miracle, and God saved one of your fellow brothers and sisters. Don't fornicate right after it. Baptise them like the bible says. If anyone wants to witness against God at this point, I have no stomach for it. I will just post the catholic catchism for a warning.


Acts 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 36And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37And 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. 38And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

Catechism
An indelible spiritual mark . . .

1272 Incorporated into Christ by Baptism, the person baptized is configured to Christ. Baptism seals the Christian with the indelible spiritual mark (character) of his belonging to Christ. No sin can erase this mark, even if sin prevents Baptism from bearing the fruits of salvation. 83 Given once for all, Baptism cannot be repeated.

In catholic churches, this is always put on the forehead. In all the other various forms of priestcraft, water baptism and other forms of ritual are also very important. However, real baptists know that all Christians are part of the priesthood of believers, and there is no separation of the laity with priests, or who can witness, give a word, preach, or baptise.

Edited by MaxKennedy
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In the past few years I came to realize that closed communion (restricting communion to the members of a particular church) is the Biblical way. Why? It all has to do with church discipline. A non-member (even if he or she is of like faith and order) is not under the authority of that local church and therefore the church does not have the right to offer them communion. After all, the Lord's supper is a local church ordinance.

Sincerely,
Bro Steve Smith


You will look in vain for the words "local church ordinance" in the bible. Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I. The Lord's supper is more than ritual. And that ritual is getting cheaper, food wise, by the year.
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To sum up, my advice would be 1)to talk again for the pastor, asking for clarification, and 2) find another church to attend if there doesn't appear to be a way of resolving the issue.


I would not ask men permision to baptise someone after God already used me to save them, any more then I'd ask a woman advice on what I should do spiritually, because the bible condemns both.

If you had faith to be led by the Holy Spirit to witness to someone, you have faith to baptise them.
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A true New Testament Church has the authority to baptize. Its customary for the pastor to do the baptizing, yet he baptizes under the authority of the New Testament Church. And actually it seems the New Testament Church can designate any man that is a member of their church to do the baptizing.


This is close to what I believe the bible says. God does the choosing though, and its the same person he chose to witness to them.

In some churches, the preacher is really a God sent one, and you won't see much difference, because he does a lot of the witnessing that actually saves someone. Great heart from Pilgrim's Progress is this sort.

In other churches, the preacher is a false man made one, and you'll see a lot of difference, because who God gives to go out and witness and baptise is a different man. Edited by MaxKennedy
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist


Well, how communion is handled would certainly be up to the individual churches - but I've never heard of an IFB church where pastoral approval is required to partake.
But, again, ultimately the father is responsible for making sure his child(ren) rightly do anything...(when they are under his roof, I mean)


No, its not up to the local church how the Lord's Supper is done, its not up to the pastor, its not up to the father which is head of the family to say if their child can partake of the Lord's Supper if he has not been saved nor a member of the local church, its up to Jesus, and we have instructions within the pages of the Bible, and remember, Jesus is still the head of the local church, not the pastor.

Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist



This is close to what I believe the bible says. God does the choosing though, and its the same person he chose to witness to them.

In some churches, the preacher is really a God sent one, and you won't see much difference, because he does a lot of the witnessing that actually saves someone. Great heart from Pilgrim's Progress is this sort.

In other churches, the preacher is a false man made one, and you'll see a lot of difference, because who God gives to go out and witness and baptise is a different man.


The authority to baptize is given to the local church.

Mt 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Mt 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mt 28:20 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.

Mt 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Of which Christ is the head, not the pastor.

Eph 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

Christ has given the authority to baptize to the local church, most local church that follow the Bible has the pastor to do the baptizing, if the church does not have a pastor at that time one of the male members can be given the authority by that local church to baptize a person that has been saved and ask to be baptized.

Within the pages of the Bible we have instruction for nearly every situation, we much study the Word, so that we can rightly divide the word of the truth and truly follow Jesus.

2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.


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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Many thought provoking posts, and as always, they must be examined in the light of Scripture.

Scripture says we are to make disciples, not just converts, and the biblical model is presenting the Gospel to the lost and those who are born again are immediately baptized (this doesn't happen much anymore) and this is to be followed by purposeful discipleship (this is very rare today).

It seems all too often the witnessing is overemphasized (sadly, often in a wrong manner such as easy believeism), baptism is an afterthought, and discipleship is ignored.

It seems this portion of the Great Commission isn't followed much:
Mt 28:20 Teaching them to OBserve all things whatsoever I have commanded you...

Why?

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I took some time to talk with my pastor again about this situation. At this moment he won't share his true feelings regarding my daughter taking communion, but he did say that he can't 'police' what I do. So, he basically left it in my hands. It appears to be a touchy subject and he fears his words will offend me.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I took some time to talk with my pastor again about this situation. At this moment he won't share his true feelings regarding my daughter taking communion, but he did say that he can't 'police' what I do. So, he basically left it in my hands. It appears to be a touchy subject and he fears his words will offend me.


Are you in a good church? A pastor should never fear offending those in his church by presenting the Word of God or stating his position on any topic a member may ask him about.
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Are you in a good church? A pastor should never fear offending those in his church by presenting the Word of God or stating his position on any topic a member may ask him about.


I agree, and this current situation has become a climax of issues and troubles with this fellowship of believers.

I am battling in my head lately "what makes up a good Church?" .....

It bothers me that in two years only one person has gotten saved in our Church. Should that bother me? Edited by God's Child
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist



I agree, and this current situation has become a climax of issues and troubles with this fellowship of believers.

I am battling in my head lately "what makes up a good Church?" .....

It bothers me that in two years only one person has gotten saved in our Church. Should that bother me?


From what you have stated in this thread I'd be concerned and prOBably consider looking for a different church home.
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From what you have stated in this thread I'd be concerned and prOBably consider looking for a different church home.


My wife and I have been talking about that very subject lately. This Church has hurt our views of the IFB Community. I thought we were compatible, but lately I wonder. Seems like the devil works in all sorts of ways to hurt the Church.
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist


My wife and I have been talking about that very subject lately. This Church has hurt our views of the IFB Community. I thought we were compatible, but lately I wonder. Seems like the devil works in all sorts of ways to hurt the Church.


No church is immune to attacks from the devil, or from the world and the flesh for that matter. This is why good churches, and good pastors, keep guard against such. We have some IFB churches in this area that to one extent or another have all moved away from their biblical roots.
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