There is a growing practice that I’ve noticed taking place in the last couple of years which I sense may become a trend. At first I was a bit uncomfortable with it. It challenged me. It revolves around the “I”.
In accordance to the command of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and upon your profession of faith in Him, “I” baptize you my brother/sister in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Buried with Him in the likeness of His death, raised to walk in newness of life.
Who is the ‘I’? Baptism is an ordinance of the church. So who should do the baptisms?
The church pastor is not confined to a baptismal pool to conduct baptisms. Pastors have gone out to ponds, lakes, backyard swimming pools to conduct baptisms. It’s like the eunuch who asked Phillip, here’s water what keeps me from being baptized? Luke 8:36
Phillip was called of God, an apostle of Jesus the Christ. Qualified to perform baptisms. Qualified? What makes you qualified?
The practice I have noticed is people who are not licensed, ordained, or otherwise endowed with church authority are baptizing people at their own will. A friend of mine a few years ago was a young man and a newly born again Christians. He was performing baptisms in swimming pools without a local church’s endorsement.
Who should be the ‘I’ who performs the baptism? Scripturally speaking the specific answer is not given. The Scripture focus more on need to be baptized and the mandate for the born again to go out under the authority of Jesus Christ to make disciples, teaching and baptizing…(Matthew 28:18-20).
Is the deacon who baptized his son acting under the authority of Jesus Christ? Is the mom who professes Jesus as Savior who baptized her daughter acting under the authority of Jesus Christ? Are they performing these ‘ordinances’ under the authority of the church? Are they required to be under the authority of another or can they do it under their own desire?
She’s a brand new Christian, excited in her faith and goes to work telling her co-workers. One of them wants to be baptized? She takes her home, dips her in the pool and baptized her. You okay with that? Should the church accept these baptisms? There was a time when S’baptism, meaning self-baptism, was practiced. John the Baptist had a part in changing the practice.
Who should be the “I” and how should the church receive it?
- Baptisms explained sufficiently
- The mode of baptism
- Record keeping?
- A slippery slope towards the Lord’s Supper becoming a practice like this.
- The relationship of the person doing the baptizing. Saved, believer or acting professional?
- Ordinance of the church, not the person.
- Authority to act
- Other issues
Something to think on,
Until Next Time,