1.giving a Christian name at baptism
2.a Christian sacrament signifying spiritual cleansing and rebirth"most churches baptize infants but some insist on adult baptism"
BaptismBap"tism (�), n. [OE. baptim, baptem, OF. baptesme, batisme, F. baptême, L. baptisma, fr. Gr. ba`ptisma, fr. bapti`zein to baptize, fr. ba`ptein to dip in water, akin to baqy`s deep, Skr. gāh to dip, bathe, v. i.] The act of baptizing; the application of water to a person, as a sacrament or religious ceremony, by which he is initiated into the visible church of Christ. This is performed by immersion, sprinkling, or pouring.
definición de Baptism (Wikipedia)
Assemblies of God (Initial Physical Evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit) • Baptism (LDS Church) • Baptism (Laibach album) • Baptism (Lenny Kravitz album) • Baptism (Mormonism) • Baptism (band) • Baptism (disambiguation) • Baptism River • Baptism River State Park • Baptism by fire • Baptism for the dead • Baptism in Norway • Baptism in the Holy Spirit • Baptism of Bulgaria • Baptism of Fire • Baptism of Jesus • Baptism of Poland • Baptism of Rus • Baptism of Rus' • Baptism of Russia • Baptism of St. Zenobius (Botticelli) • Baptism of blood • Baptism of christ • Baptism of desire • Baptism of fire • Baptism of the Lord • Baptism on the line • Baptism with the Holy Spirit • Baptism, Believers' • Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry • Believer's baptism • Believers' Baptism • Conditional baptism • Emergency baptism • Fire Baptism • Fire baptism • Immersion baptism • Infant baptism • One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism • Proxy baptism • Southern baptism • The Baptism of Christ • The Baptism of Christ (Piero della Francesca) • The Baptism of Christ (Verrocchio) • The Baptism of Constantine
pratique religieuse (fr)[ClasseParExt.]
sacrement religieux (fr)[Classe]
fête : solennité religieuse (fr)[Classe]
(adherent), (be part of)[Thème]
(baptism; christening), (baptised)[termes liés]
acte au cours d'une liturgie (fr)[DomaineCollocation]
unction; anointing; anointment[Classe]
fête chrétienne (fr)[Classe]
l'adolescence du Christ (fr)[Thème]
relatif à (fr)[Classe...]
(baptism; christening), (baptised)[termes liés]
Baptist Church, Baptists[membre]
baptist, Baptistic, Mennonite[CeQuiEst~]
(baptism; christening), (baptised)[termes liés]
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Baptism (from the Greek noun Βάπτισμα baptisma; itself derived from baptismos, washing) is a Christian rite of admission (or adoption), almost invariably with the use of water, into the Christian Church generally and also a particular church tradition. Baptism has been called a sacrament and an ordinance of Jesus Christ.
The New Testament reports that Jesus was baptized. The usual form of baptism among the earliest Christians was for the naked candidate to be immersed totally (submersion) or partially (standing or kneeling in water while water was poured on him or her). While John the Baptist's use of a deep river for his baptism suggests immersion, pictorial and archaeological evidence of Christian baptism from the 3rd century onward indicates that a normal form was to have the candidate stand in water while water was poured over the upper body. Other common forms of baptism now in use include pouring water three times on the forehead.
Martyrdom was identified early in Church history as "baptism by blood", enabling martyrs who had not been baptized by water to be saved. Later, the Catholic Church identified a baptism of desire, by which those preparing for baptism who die before actually receiving the sacrament are considered saved. As evidenced also in the common Christian practice of infant baptism, baptism was universally seen by Christians as in some sense necessary for salvation, until Huldrych Zwingli in the 16th century denied its necessity.
Today, some Christians, particularly Quakers and the Salvation Army, do not see baptism as necessary, and do not practice the rite. Among those that do, differences can be found in the manner and mode of baptizing and in the understanding of the significance of the rite. Most Christians baptize "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" (following the Great Commission), but some baptize in Jesus' name only. Most Christians baptize infants; many others hold that only believer’s baptism is true baptism. Some insist on submersion or at least partial immersion of the person who is baptized, others consider that any form of washing by water, as long as the water flows on the head, is sufficient.
The English word "baptism" is derived indirectly through Latin from the neuter Greek concept noun baptisma (Greek βάπτισμα, "washing-ism"), which is a neologism in the New Testament derived from the masculine Greek noun baptismos (βαπτισμός) which is a term for ritual washing in Greek language texts of Hellenistic Judaism during the Second Temple period, such as the Septuagint. Both of these nouns are nouns derived from baptizein (βαπτίζω, "I wash" transitive verb) which is used in Jewish texts for ritual washing, and in the New Testament both for ritual washing and also for the apparently new rite of baptisma. The Greek verb root bpt in turn is hypothetically traced to a reconstructed Indo-European root *gwabh- or *gwebh- in the suffixed zero-grade form *gwəbh-yo- The Greek words are used in a great variety of meanings.
The New Testament contains four related words; two verbs and two nouns:
As Christians of different traditions dispute whether total immersion (submersion) is necessary for baptism, the precise meaning of the Greek noun baptisma in the New Testament has become important for discussion.
The Greek-English Lexicon of Liddell and Scott gives the primary meaning of the verb baptizein (1st Person βαπτίζω baptizô), from which the English verb "baptize" is derived, as "dip, plunge", and indicates that the dipping or plunging need not be complete, as when a sword is plunged into a throat or into a foetus or when wine is drawn by dipping a cup in the bowl; for New Testament usage it gives two meanings: "baptize", with which it associates the Septuagint mention of Naaman dipping himself in the Jordan River, and "perform ablutions", as in .
Although the Greek verb baptizein does not exclusively mean dip, plunge or immerse (it is used with literal and figurative meanings such as "sink", "disable", "overwhelm", "go under", "overborne", "draw from a bowl"), lexical sources typically cite this as a meaning of the word in both the Septuagint and the New Testament.
"While it is true that the basic root meaning of the Greek words for baptize and baptism is immerse/immersion, it is not true that the words can simply be reduced to this meaning, as can be seen from Mark 10:38-39, Luke 12:50, Matthew 3:11//Luke 3:16, 1 Corinthians 10:2."
Two passages in the Gospels indicate that the verb baptizein did not always indicate submersion. The first is , which tells how a Pharisee, at whose house Jesus ate, "was astonished to see that he did not first wash (ἐβαπτίσθη, aorist passive of βαπτίζω—literally, "be baptized") before dinner." This is the passage that Liddell and Scott cites as an instance of the use of βαπτίζω to mean perform ablutions. Jesus' omission of this action is similar to that of his disciples: "Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash (νίπτω) not their hands when they eat bread" ( ). The other Gospel passage pointed to is: "The Pharisees…do not eat unless they wash (νίπτω, the ordinary word for washing) their hands thoroughly, observing the tradition of the elders; and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they wash themselves (literally, "baptize themselves"—βαπτίσωνται, passive or middle voice of βαπτίζω)" ( ).
Scholars of various denominations claim that these two passages show that invited guests, or people returning from market, would not be expected to immerse themselves ("baptize themselves") totally in water but only to practise the partial immersion of dipping their hands in water or to pour water over them, as is the only form admitted by present Jewish custom. In the second of the two passages, it is actually the hands that are specifically identified as "washed" (Mark 7:3), not the entire person, for whom the verb used is baptizomai, literally "be baptized", "be immersed" (Mark 7:4), a fact obscured by English versions that use "wash" as a translation of both verbs. Zodhiates concludes that the washing of the hands was done by immersing them. The Liddell-Scott-Jones Greek-English Lexicon (1996) cites the other passage (Luke 11:38) as an instance of the use of the verb baptizein to mean "perform ablutions", not "submerge". References to the cleaning of vessels which use βαπτίζω also refer to immersion.
As already mentioned, the lexicographical work of Zodhiates says that, in the second of these two cases,  Balz & Schneider understand the meaning of βαπτίζω, used in place of ῥαντίσωνται (sprinkle), to be the same as βάπτω, to dip or immerse, a verb used of the partial dipping of a morsel held in the hand into wine or of a finger into spilled blood., the verb baptizein indicates that, after coming from the market, the Pharisees washed their hands by immersing them in collected water.
A possible additional use of the verb baptizein to relate to ritual washing is suggested by Peter Leithart (2007) who suggests that Paul's phrase "Else what shall they do who are baptized for the dead?" relates to Jewish ritual washing. In Jewish Greek the verb baptizein "baptized" has a wider reference than just "baptism" and in Jewish context primarily applies to the masculine noun baptismos "ritual washing" The verb baptizein occurs four times in the Septuagint in the context of ritual washing, baptismos; Judith cleansing herself from menstrual impurity, Naaman washing seven times to be cleansed from leprosy, etc. Additionally, in the New Testament only, the verb baptizein can also relate to the neuter noun baptisma "baptism" which is a neologism unknown in the Septuagint and other pre-Christian Jewish texts. This broadness in the meaning of baptizein is reflected in English Bibles rendering "wash," where Jewish ritual washing is meant, for example Mark 7:4 states that the Pharisees "except they wash (Greek "baptize"), they do not eat", and "baptize" where baptisma, the new Christian rite, is intended.
Two nouns derived from the verb baptizo (βαπτίζω) appear in the New Testament: the masculine noun baptismos (βαπτισμός) and the neuter noun baptisma (βάπτισμα):
Although the term "baptism" is not used to describe the Jewish rituals, the purification rites in Jewish laws and tradition, called "Tvilah", have some similarity to baptism, and the two have been linked. The "Tvilah" is the act of immersion in natural sourced water, called a "Mikvah" In the Jewish Bible and other Jewish texts, immersion in water for ritual purification was established for restoration to a condition of "ritual purity" in specific circumstances. For example, Jews who (according to the Law of Moses) became ritually defiled by contact with a corpse had to use the mikvah before being allowed to participate in the Holy Temple. Immersion is required for converts to Judaism as part of their conversion. Immersion in the mikvah represents a change in status in regards to purification, restoration, and qualification for full religious participation in the life of the community, ensuring that the cleansed person will not impose uncleanness on property or its owners ( and Babylonian Talmud, TractateChagigah, p. 12). It did not become customary, however, to immerse converts to Judaism until after the Babylonian Captivity. This change of status by the mikvah could be obtained repeatedly, while Christian baptism, like circumcision, is, in the general view of Christians, unique and not repeatable. Even the so-called rebaptism by some Christian denominations is not seen by them as a repetition of an earlier valid baptism and is viewed by them as not itself repeatable.
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Baptism has been part of Christianity from the start, as shown by the many mentions in the Acts of the Apostles and the Pauline epistles. Christians consider Jesus to have instituted the sacrament of baptism. How explicit Jesus' intentions were and whether he envisioned a continuing, organized Church is a matter of dispute among scholars.
Infant baptism became common, alongside the developing theology of original sin, displacing the earlier common practice of delaying baptism until the deathbed. Against Pelagius, Augustine insisted that baptism was necessary for salvation even for virtuous people and for children.
In 895, the provincial Council of Tribur commented on the traditional teaching that that the triple immersion in baptism was an imitation of Christ for the three days he spent in the tomb, and the rising from the water an imitation of the resurrection of Jesus. The linking of the baptismal immersion in and rising from the water with the burial and resurrection of Jesus arguably goes back to Saint Paul, and the linking of the triple immersion with the three days in the tomb is found in Cyril of Jerusalem (c. 313-386) and Gregory of Nyssa (c.335-after 394).
In the period between the 12th and the 14th centuries, affusion became the usual manner of administering baptism in Western Europe, though immersion continued to be found in some places even as late as the 16th century. Throughout the Middle Ages, there was therefore considerable variation in the kind of facility required for baptism, from the baptismal pool large enough to immerse several adults simultaneously of the 13th century Baptistery at Pisa, to the half-metre deep basin in the 6th century baptistery of the old Cologne Cathedral.
Both East and West considered washing with water and the Trinitarian baptismal formula necessary for administering the rite. Scholasticism referred to these two elements as the matter and the form of the sacrament, employing terms taken from the then prevailing Aristotelian philosophy. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, while teaching the necessity of both elements, nowhere uses these philosophical terms when speaking of any of the sacraments.
In the 16th century, Martin Luther considered baptism to be a sacrament. For the Lutherans, baptism is a "means of grace" through which God creates and strengthens "saving faith" as the "washing of regeneration"
Swiss Reformer Huldrych Zwingli differed with the Lutherans by denying sacramental status of baptism. Zwingli identified baptism and the Lord's supper as sacraments, but in the sense of an initiatory ceremony. His understanding of these sacraments as symbolic differentiated him from Luther.
Anabaptists (a word that means "rebaptizers") rejected so thoroughly the tradition maintained by Lutherans as well as Catholics that they denied the validity of baptism outside their group. They "rebaptized" converts on the grounds that one cannot be baptized without wishing it, and an infant, who does not understand what happens in a baptism ceremony and who has no knowledge of the concepts of Christianity, is not really baptized. They saw as non-biblical the baptism of infants, who cannot confess their faith and who, not having yet committed any sins, are not in the same need of salvation. Anabaptists and other Baptist groups do not consider that they rebaptize those who have been baptized as infants, since, in their view, infant baptism is without effect. The Amish, Restoration churches (Churches of Christ/ Christian Church), Hutterites, Baptists, Mennonites and other groups descend from this tradition. Pentecostal, charismatic and most non-denominational churches share this view as well.
Aspersion is the sprinkling of water on the head.
Affusion is the pouring of water over the head.
The word "immersion" is derived from late Latin immersionem, a noun derived from the verb immergere (in – "into" + mergere "dip"). In relation to baptism, some use it to refer to any form of dipping, whether the body is put completely under water or is only partly dipped in water; they thus speak of immersion as being either total or partial. Others, of the Anabaptist tradition, use "immersion" to mean exclusively plunging someone entirely under the surface of the water (submersion). The term "immersion" is also used of a form of baptism in which water is poured over someone standing in water, without submersion of the person. On these three meanings of the word "immersion", see Immersion baptism.
When "immersion" is used in opposition to "submersion", it indicates the form of baptism in which the candidate stands or kneels in water and water is poured over the upper part of the body. Immersion in this sense has been employed in West and East since at least the 2nd century and is the form in which baptism is generally depicted in early Christian art. In the West, this method of baptism began to be replaced by affusion baptism from around the 8th century, but it continues in use in Eastern Christianity.
The word Submersion comes from the late Latin (sub- "under, below" + mergere "plunge, dip") and is also sometimes called "complete immersion". It is the form of baptism in which the water completely covers the candidate's body. Submersion is practiced in the Orthodox and several other Eastern Churches, as well as in the Ambrosian Rite. It is one of the methods provided in the Roman Rite of the baptism of infants.
Until the Middle Ages, most baptisms were performed with the candidates naked—as is evidenced by most of the early portrayals of baptism (some of which are shown in this article), and the early Church Fathers and other Christian writers. Typical of these is Cyril of Jerusalem who wrote "On the Mysteries of Baptism" in the 4th century (c. 350 AD):
Do you not know, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into His death? etc.…for you are not under the Law, but under grace.
1. Therefore, I shall necessarily lay before you the sequel of yesterday's Lecture, that you may learn of what those things, which were done by you in the inner chamber, were symbolic.
2. As soon, then, as you entered, you put off your tunic; and this was an image of putting off the old man with his deeds.
The symbolism is threefold:
1. Baptism is considered to be a form of rebirth—"by water and the Spirit"
"For nothing perceivable was handed over to us by Jesus; but with perceivable things, all of them however conceivable. This is also the way with the baptism; the gift of the water is done with a perceivable thing, but the things being conducted, i.e., the rebirth and renovation, are conceivable. For, if you were without a body, He would hand over these bodiless gifts as naked [gifts] to you. But because the soul is closely linked to the body, He hands over the perceivable ones to you with conceivable things " (Chrysostom to Matthew., speech 82, 4, c. 390 A.D.)
2. The removal of clothing represented the "image of putting off the old man with his deeds" (as per Cyril, above), so the stripping of the body before for baptism represented taking off the trappings of sinful self, so that the "new man," which is given by Jesus, can be put on.
3. As St. Cyril again asserts above, as Adam and Eve in scripture and tradition were naked, innocent and unashamed in the Garden of Eden, nakedness during baptism was seen as a renewal of that innocence and state of original sinlessness. Other parallels can also be drawn, such as between the exposed condition of Christ during His crucifixion, and the crucifixion of the "old man" of the repentant sinner in preparation for baptism.
Changing customs and concerns regarding modesty probably contributed to the practice of permitting or requiring the baptismal candidate to either retain their undergarments (as in many Renaissance paintings of baptism such as those by da Vinci, Tintoretto, Van Scorel, Masaccio, de Wit and others) and/or to wear, as is almost universally the practice today, baptismal robes. These robes are most often white, symbolizing purity. Some groups today allow any suitable clothes to be worn, such as trousers and a t-shirt—practical considerations include how easily the clothes will dry (denim is discouraged), and whether they will become see-through when wet.
There are differences in views about the effect of baptism for a Christian. Some Christian groups assert baptism is a requirement for salvation and a sacrament, and speak of "baptismal regeneration". Its importance may be understood by an informed knowledge of their interpretation of the most fundamental and basic meaning of the "Mystical Body of Christ" as found in the New Testament. This view is shared by the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions, and by Churches formed early during the Protestant Reformation such as Lutheran and Anglican. For example, Martin Luther said:
To put it most simply, the power, effect, benefit, fruit, and purpose of Baptism is to save. No one is baptized in order to become a prince, but as the words say, to "be saved". To be saved, we know, is nothing else than to be delivered from sin, death, and the devil and to enter into the kingdom of Christ and live with him forever.
— Luther's Large Catechism, 1529
For Roman Catholics, baptism by water is a sacrament of initiation into the life of the children of God (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1212–13). It configures the person to Christ (CCC 1272), and obliges the Christian to share in the Church's apostolic and missionary activity (CCC 1270). The Catholic Tradition holds that there are three types of baptism by which one can be saved: sacramental baptism (with water), baptism of desire (explicit or implicit desire to be part of the Church founded by Jesus Christ), and baptism of blood (martyrdom). Pope Pius XII, in his encyclical The Mystical Body of Christ, June 29, 1943, includes all baptized Christians as members of Christ, members of the one true Church, which is the body of Jesus Christ himself, as God the Holy Spirit has taught through the Apostle Paul. (Mystici Corporis Christi–full text) (the bold emphasis provided here is not in the encyclical)
- 18...Through the waters of Baptism those who are born into this world dead in sin are not only born again and made members of the Church, but being stamped with a spiritual seal they become able and fit to receive the other Sacraments.
- 27...He also determined that through Baptism those who should believe would be incorporated in the Body of the Church.
- 30...it was on the tree of the Cross, finally, that He entered into possession of His Church, that is, of all the members of His Mystical Body; for they would not have been united to this Mystical Body through the waters of Baptism except by the salutary virtue of the Cross, by which they had been already brought under the complete sway of Christ.
- 34 That this Mystical Body which is the Church should be called Christ's is proved in the second place from the fact that He must be universally acknowledged as its actual Head. "He," as St. Paul says, "is the Head of the Body, the Church." (Col. 1:18)
— Mystici Corporis Christi
By contrast, most Reformed (Calvinist), evangelical, and fundamentalist Protestant groups recognize baptism as an act of obedience to and identification with Jesus as the Christ. They say that baptism has no sacramental (saving) power, and only testifies outwardly to the invisible and internal operation of God's power, which is completely separate from the rite itself.
Churches of Christ consistently teach that in baptism a believer surrenders his life in faith and obedience to God, and that God "by the merits of Christ's blood, cleanses one from sin and truly changes the state of the person from an alien to a citizen of God's kingdom. Baptism is not a human work; it is the place where God does the work that only God can do.":p.66 Thus, they see baptism as a passive act of faith rather than a meritorious work; it "is a confession that a person has nothing to offer God.":p.112
The liturgy of baptism in the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, Anglican, and Methodist traditions makes clear reference to baptism as not only a symbolic burial and resurrection, but an actual supernatural transformation, one that draws parallels to the experience of Noah and the passage of the Israelites through the Red Sea divided by Moses. Thus, baptism is literally and symbolically not only cleansing, but also dying and rising again with Christ. Catholics believe that baptism is necessary for the cleansing of the taint of original sin, and for that reason infant baptism is a common practice. The Eastern Churches (Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodoxy) also baptize infants on the basis of texts, such as , which are interpreted as supporting full Church membership for children. In these traditions, baptism is immediately followed by Chrismation and Communion at the next Divine Liturgy, regardless of age. Orthodox likewise believe that baptism removes what they call the ancestral sin of Adam. Anglicans believe that Baptism is also the entry into the Church and therefore allows them access to all rights and responsibilities as full members, including the privilege to receive Holy Communion. Most Methodists and Anglicans agree that it also cleanses the taint of what in the West is called original sin, in the East ancestral sin.
Eastern Orthodox Christians usually insist on complete threefold immersion as both a symbol of death and rebirth into Christ, and as a washing away of sin. Latin Rite Catholics generally baptize by affusion (pouring); Eastern Catholics usually by submersion, or at least partial immersion. However, submersion is gaining in popularity within the Latin Catholic Church. In newer church sanctuaries, the baptismal font may be designed to expressly allow for baptism by immersion. Anglicans baptize by submersion, immersion, affusion or sprinkling.
According to a tradition, evidence of which can be traced back to at latest about the year 200, sponsors or godparents are present at baptism and vow to uphold the Christian education and life of the baptized.
Baptists argue that the Greek word βαπτίζω originally meant "to immerse". They interpret some Biblical passages concerning baptism as requiring submersion of the body in water. They also state that only submersion reflects the symbolic significance of being "buried" and "raised" with Christ.
Some "full gospel" charismatic churches such as Oneness Pentecostals baptize only in the name of Jesus Christ, citing Peter's preaching baptism in the name of Jesus as their authority.
Those who know how widely the churches have differed in doctrine and practice on baptism, Eucharist and ministry, will appreciate the importance of the large measure of agreement registered here. Virtually all the confessional traditions are included in the Commission's membership. That theologians of such widely different traditions should be able to speak so harmoniously about baptism, Eucharist and ministry is unprecedented in the modern ecumenical movement. Particularly noteworthy is the fact that the Commission also includes among its full members theologians of the Catholic and other churches which do not belong to the World Council of Churches itself."
A 1997 document, Becoming a Christian: The Ecumenical Implications of Our Common Baptism, gave the views of a commission of experts brought together under the aegis of the World Council of Churches. It states:
…according to, baptisms follow from Peter's preaching baptism in the name of Jesus and lead those baptized to the receiving of Christ's Spirit, the Holy Ghost, and life in the community: "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers"
Those who heard, who were baptized and entered the community's life, were already made witnesses of and partakers in the promises of God for the last days: the forgiveness of sins through baptism in the name of Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Ghost on all flesh.
Since the Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Methodist and Lutheran Churches teach that baptism is a sacrament that has actual spiritual and salvific effects, certain key criteria must be complied with for it to be valid, i.e., to actually have those effects. If these key criteria are met, violation of some rules regarding baptism, such as varying the authorized rite for the ceremony, renders the baptism illicit (contrary to the Church's laws) but still valid.
One of the criteria for validity is use of the correct form of words. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the use of the verb "baptize" is essential. Catholics of Latin Rite, Anglicans and Methodists use the form "I baptize you…." Eastern Orthodox and some Eastern Catholics use the form "The Servant/(Handmaiden) of God is baptized in the name of...." or "This person is baptized by my hands…." These Churches generally recognize each other's form of baptism as valid.
Most Eastern Orthodox Churches consider the baptisms of Catholic and Oriental Orthodox Churches to be valid, therefore converts from those churches are received through the Sacrament of Holy Chrismation. Not all Eastern Orthodox Churches consider the baptismal rites of Protestants as valid. Therefore Protestant converts would be received into the church through Baptism and Chrismation regardless of prior Protestant Baptism. Most Oriental Orthodox Churches follow similar rules.
Use of the Trinitarian formula "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" is also considered essential; thus these churches do not accept as valid baptisms of non-Trinitarian churches such as Oneness Pentecostals.
Another essential condition is use of water. A baptism in which some other liquid was used would not be considered valid.
Another requirement is that the celebrant intends to perform baptism. This requirement entails merely the intention "to do what the Church does", not necessarily to have Christian faith, since it is not the person baptizing, but the Holy Spirit working through the sacrament, who produces the effects of the sacrament. Doubt about the faith of the baptizer is thus no ground for doubt about the validity of the baptism.
Some conditions expressly do not affect validity—for example, whether submersion, immersion, affusion or aspersion is used. However, if water is sprinkled, there is a danger that the water may not touch the skin of the unbaptized. If the water does not flow on the skin, there is no ablution and so no baptism.
If for a medical or other legitimate reason the water cannot be poured on the head, it may be poured over another principal part of the body, such as the chest. In such case validity is uncertain and the person should later be conditionally baptized in the prescribed manner.
For many communions, validity is not affected if a single submersion or pouring is performed rather than a triple, but in Orthodoxy this is controversial.
According to the Catholic Church, baptism imparts an indelible "seal" upon the soul of the baptized and therefore a person who has already been baptized cannot be validly baptized again. This teaching was affirmed against the Donatists who practiced rebaptism. The grace received in baptism is believed to operate ex opere operato and is therefore considered valid even if administered in heretical or schismatic groups.
The Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, Presbyterian and Methodist Churches accept baptism performed by other denominations within this group as valid, subject to certain conditions, including the use of the Trinitarian formula. It is only possible to be baptized once, thus people with valid baptisms from other denominations may not be baptized again upon conversion or transfer. Such people are accepted upon making a profession of faith and, if they have not yet validly received the sacrament of confirmation or chrismation, by being confirmed. In some cases it can be difficult to decide if the original baptism was in fact valid; if there is doubt, conditional baptism is administered, with a formula on the lines of "If you are not yet baptized, I baptize you…."
In the still recent past, it was common practice in the Roman Catholic Church to baptize conditionally almost every convert from Protestantism because of a perceived difficulty in judging about the validity in any concrete case. In the case of the major Protestant Churches, agreements involving assurances about the manner in which they administer baptism has ended this practice, which sometimes continues for other groups of Protestant tradition. The Catholic Church has always recognized the validity of baptism in the Churches of Eastern Christianity, but it has explicitly denied the validity of the baptism conferred in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Practice in the Eastern Orthodox Church for converts from other communions is not uniform. However, generally baptisms performed in the name of the Holy Trinity are accepted by the Orthodox Christian Church. If a convert has not received the sacrament (mysterion) of baptism, he or she must be baptised in the name of the Holy Trinity before they may enter into communion with the Orthodox Church. If he has been baptized in another Christian confession (other than Orthodox Christianity)his previous baptism is considered retroactively filled with grace by chrismation or, in rare circumstances, confession of faith alone as long as the baptism was done in the name of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). The exact procedure is dependent on local canons and is the subject of some controversy.
Oriental Orthodox Churches recognise the validity of baptisms performed within the Eastern Orthodox Communion. Some also recognise baptisms performed by Catholic Churches. Any supposed baptism not performed using the Trinitarian formula is considered invalid.
In the eyes of the Catholic Church, all Orthodox Churches, Anglican and Lutheran Churches, the baptism conferred by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is invalid. An article published together with the official declaration to that effect gave reasons for that judgment, summed up in the following words: "The Baptism of the Catholic Church and that of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints differ essentially, both for what concerns faith in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in whose name Baptism is conferred, and for what concerns the relationship to Christ who instituted it."
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stresses that baptism must be administered by one having proper authority; consequently, the Church does not recognize the baptism of any other church as valid.
Jehovah's Witnesses do not recognise any other baptism occurring after 1914 as valid, as they believe that they are now the one true church of Christ, and that the rest of "Christendom" is false religion.
There is debate among Christian churches as to who can administer baptism. The examples given in the New Testament only show apostles and deacons administering baptism. Ancient Christian churches interpret this as indicating that baptism should be performed by the clergy except in extremis, i.e., when the one being baptized is in immediate danger of death. Then anyone may baptize, provided, in the view of the Eastern Orthodox Church, the person who does the baptizing is a member of that Church, or, in the view of the Catholic Church, that the person, even if not baptized, intends to do what the Church does in administering the rite. Many Protestant churches see no specific prohibition in the biblical examples and permit any believer to baptize another.
In the Roman Catholic Church, canon law for the Latin Rite lays down that the ordinary minister of baptism is a bishop, priest or deacon, but its administration is one of the functions "especially entrusted to the parish priest". If the person to be baptized is at least fourteen years old, that person's baptism is to be referred to the bishop, so that he can decide whether to confer the baptism himself. If no ordinary minister is available, a catechist or some other person whom the local ordinary has appointed for this purpose may licitly do the baptism; indeed in a case of necessity any person (irrespective of that person's religion) who has the requisite intention may confer the baptism By "a case of necessity" is meant imminent danger of death because of either illness or an external threat. "The requisite intention" is, at the minimum level, the intention "to do what the Church does" through the rite of baptism.
In the Eastern Catholic Churches, a deacon is not considered an ordinary minister. Administration of the sacrament is reserved to the Parish Priest or to another priest to whom he or the local hierarch grants permission, a permission that can be presumed if in accordance with canon law. However, "in case of necessity, baptism can be administered by a deacon or, in his absence or if he is impeded, by another cleric, a member of an institute of consecrated life, or by any other Christian faithful; even by the mother or father, if another person is not available who knows how to baptize."
The discipline of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy and the Assyrian Church of the East is similar to that of the Eastern Catholic Churches. They require the baptizer, even in cases of necessity, to be of their own faith, on the grounds that a person cannot convey what he himself does not possess, in this case membership in the Church. The Latin Rite Catholic Church does not insist on this condition, considering that the effect of the sacrament, such as membership of the Church, is not produced by the person who baptizes, but by the Holy Spirit. For the Orthodox, while Baptism in extremis may be administered by a deacon or any lay-person, if the newly baptized person survives, a priest must still perform the other prayers of the Rite of Baptism, and administer the Mystery of Chrismation.
The discipline of Anglicanism and Lutheranism is similar to that of the Latin Rite Catholic Church. For Methodists and many other Protestant denominations, too, the ordinary minister of baptism is a duly ordained or appointed minister of religion.
Newer movements of Protestant Evangelical churches, particularly non-denominational, allow laypeople to baptize.
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, only a man who has been ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood holding the priesthood office of Priest or higher office in the Melchizedek Priesthood may administer baptism.
||This section may contain original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding references. Statements consisting only of original research may be removed. (February 2009)|
Early Anabaptists were given that name because they re-baptized persons who they felt had not been properly baptized, having received infant baptism, sprinkling, or baptism of any sort by another denomination.
Anabaptists perform baptisms indoors in a baptismal font, a swimming pool, or a bathtub, or outdoors in a creek or river. Baptism memorializes the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
For the majority of Baptists, Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Baptism in Churches of Christ is performed only by full bodily immersion,:p.107:p.124 based on the Koine Greek verb baptizo which is understood to mean to dip, immerse, submerge or plunge.:p.139:p.313–314:p.22:p.45–46 Submersion is seen as more closely conforming to the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus than other modes of baptism.:p.140:p.314–316 Churches of Christ argue that historically immersion was the mode used in the 1st century, and that pouring and sprinkling later emerged as secondary modes when immersion was not possible.:p.140 Over time these secondary modes came to replace immersion.:p.140 Only those mentally capable of belief and repentance are baptized (i.e., infant baptism is not practiced because the New Testament has no precedent for it).:p.124:p.318–319:p.195
Churches of Christ have historically had the most conservative position on baptism among the various branches of the Restoration Movement, understanding baptism by immersion to be a necessary part of conversion.:p.61 The most significant disagreements concerned the extent to which a correct understanding of the role of baptism is necessary for its validity.:p.61 David Lipscomb insisted that if a believer was baptized out of a desire to obey God, the baptism was valid, even if the individual did not fully understand the role baptism plays in salvation.:p.61 Austin McGary contended that to be valid, the convert must also understand that baptism is for the forgiveness of sins.:p.62 McGary's view became the prevailing one in the early 20th century, but the approach advocated by Lipscomb never totally disappeared.:p.62 More recently, the rise of the International Churches of Christ (who based on the need to fully understand the role baptism plays in salvation, required many to be "re-baptized") has caused some to reexamine the issue.:p.66
Churches of Christ consistently teach that in baptism a believer surrenders his life in faith and obedience to God, and that God "by the merits of Christ's blood, cleanses one from sin and truly changes the state of the person from an alien to a citizen of God's kingdom. Baptism is not a human work; it is the place where God does the work that only God can do.":p.66 Baptism is a passive act of faith rather than a meritorious work; it "is a confession that a person has nothing to offer God.":p.112 While Churches of Christ do not describe baptism as a "sacrament", their view of it can legitimately be described as "sacramental.":p.66:p.186 They see the power of baptism coming from God, who chose to use baptism as a vehicle, rather than from the water or the act itself,:p.186 and understand baptism to be an integral part of the conversion process, rather than just a symbol of conversion.:p.184 A recent trend is to emphasize the transformational aspect of baptism: instead of describing it as just a legal requirement or sign of something that happened in the past, it is seen as "the event that places the believer 'into Christ' where God does the ongoing work of transformation.":p.66 There is a minority that downplays the importance of baptism in order to avoid sectarianism, but the broader trend is to "reexamine the richness of the biblical teaching of baptism and to reinforce its central and essential place in Christianity.":p.66
Because of the belief that baptism is a necessary part of salvation, some Baptists hold that the Churches of Christ endorse the doctrine of baptismal regeneration. However, members of the Churches of Christ reject this, arguing that since faith and repentance are necessary, and that the cleansing of sins is by the blood of Christ through the grace of God, baptism is not an inherently redeeming ritual.:p.133:p.630,631 Rather, their inclination is to point to the biblical passage in which Peter, analogizing baptism to Noah's flood, posits that "likewise baptism doth also now save us" but parenthetically clarifies that baptism is "not the putting away of the filth of the flesh but the response of a good conscience toward God" (1 Peter 3:21). One author from the churches of Christ describes the relationship between faith and baptism this way, "Faith is the reason why a person is a child of God; baptism is the time at which one is incorporated into Christ and so becomes a child of God" (italics are in the source).:p.170 Baptism is understood as a confessional expression of faith and repentance,:p.179–182 rather than a "work" that earns salvation.:p.170
Paedobaptist Covenant theologians see the administration of all the biblical covenants, including the New Covenant, as including a principle of familial, corporate inclusion or "generational succession". The biblical covenants between God and man include signs and seals that visibly represent the realities behind the covenants. These visible signs and symbols of God's covenant redemption are administered in a corporate manner (for instance, to households), not in an exclusively individualistic manner.
Baptism is considered by the Reformed churches as the visible sign of entrance into the New Covenant and therefore may be administered individually to new believers making a public profession of faith. Paedobaptists further believe this extends corporately to the households of believers which typically would include children, or individually to children or infants of believing parents (see Infant baptism). In this view, baptism is thus seen as the functional replacement and sacramental equivalent of the Abrahamic rite of circumcision and symbolizes the internal cleansing from sin, among other things.
In Catholic teaching, baptism is believed to be usually essential for salvation. This teaching dates back to the teachings and practices of 1st-century Christians, and the connection between salvation and baptism was not, on the whole, an item of major dispute until Huldrych Zwingli denied the necessity of baptism, which he saw as merely a sign granting admission to the Christian community. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that "Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament." Accordingly, a person who knowingly, willfully and unrepentantly rejects baptism has no hope of salvation. This teaching is based on Jesus' words in the Gospel according to John: "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God."
The Catechism of the Catholic Church also states: "Since Baptism signifies liberation from sin and from its instigator the devil, one or more exorcisms are pronounced over the candidate". In the Roman Rite of the baptism of a child, the wording of the prayer of exorcism is: "Almighty and ever-living God, you sent your only Son into the world to cast out the power of Satan, spirit of evil, to rescue man from the kingdom of darkness and bring him into the splendour of your kingdom of light. We pray for this child: set him (her) free from original sin, make him (her) a temple of your glory, and send your Holy Spirit to dwell with him (her). Through Christ our Lord."
Catholics are baptized in water, by submersion, immersion or affusion, in the name (singular) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit—not three gods, but one God subsisting in three Persons. While sharing in the one divine essence, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct, not simply three "masks" or manifestations of one divine being. The faith of the Church and of the individual Christian is based on a relationship with these three "Persons" of the one God. Adults can also be baptized through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.
It is claimed that Pope Stephen I, St. Ambrose and Pope Nicholas I declared that baptisms in the name of "Jesus" only as well as in the name of "Father, Son and Holy Spirit" were valid. The correct interpretation of their words is disputed. Current canonical law requires the Trinitarian formula and water for validity.
The Church recognizes two equivalents of baptism with water: "baptism of blood" and "baptism of desire". Baptism of blood is that undergone by unbaptized individuals who are martyred for their faith, while baptism of desire generally applies to catechumens who die before they can be baptized. The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes these two forms:
The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament. (1258)
For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament. (1259)
The Catholic Church holds that non-Christians who seek God with a sincere heart and, moved by grace, try to do God's will as they know it through the dictates of conscience can also be saved without water baptism as they are said to desire it implicitly. As for unbaptized infants, the Church is unsure of their fate; "the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God" (Catechism, 1261).
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that baptism should be performed by complete immersion (submersion) only when an individual is old enough to understand its significance. They believe that water baptism is an outward symbol that a person has made an unconditional dedication through Jesus Christ to do the will of God. They consider baptism to constitute ordination as a minister.
Prospective candidates for baptism must express their desire to be baptized well in advance of a planned baptismal event, to allow for congregation elders to assess their suitability. Elders approve candidates for baptism if the candidates are considered to understand what is expected of members of the religion and to demonstrate sincere dedication to the faith.
Most baptisms among Jehovah's Witnesses are performed at scheduled assemblies and conventions by elders and ministerial servants and rarely occur at local Kingdom Halls. Prior to baptism, at the conclusion of a pre-baptism talk, candidates must affirm two questions:
- On the basis of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, have you repented of your sins and dedicated yourself to Jehovah to do his will?
- Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah's Witnesses in association with God's spirit-directed organization?
Only baptized males may baptize new members. Baptizers and candidates wear swimsuits or other informal clothing for baptism, but are directed to avoid clothing that is considered undignified or revealing. Generally, candidates are individually immersed by a single baptizer, unless a candidate has special circumstances such as a physical disability. In circumstances of extended isolation, a qualified candidate's dedication and stated intention to become baptized may serve to identify him as a member of Jehovah's Witnesses, even if immersion itself must be delayed. In rare instances, unbaptized males who had stated such an intention have reciprocally baptized each other, with both baptisms accepted as valid. Individuals who had been baptized in the 1930s and 1940s by female Witnesses, such as in concentration camps, were later re-baptized but recognized their original baptism dates.
In Mormonism, baptism has the main purpose of remitting the sins of the participant. It is followed by confirmation, which inducts the person into membership in the church and constitutes a baptism with the Holy Spirit. Latter-day Saints believe that baptism must be by full immersion, and by a precise ritualized ordinance: if some part of the participant is not fully immersed, or the ordinance was not recited verbatim, the ritual must be repeated. It typically occurs in a baptismal font. In addition, Latter-day Saints do not believe a baptism is valid unless it is performed by a Latter-day Saint priest or elder. Authority is passed down through a form of apostolic succession. All new converts to the faith must be baptized or re-baptized. Baptism is seen as symbolic both of Jesus' death, burial and resurrection and is also symbolic of the baptized individual discarding their "natural" self and donning a new identity as a disciple of Jesus.
According to Latter-day Saint theology, faith and repentance are prerequisites to baptism. The ritual does not cleanse the participant of original sin, as Latter-day Saints do not believe the doctrine of original sin. Mormonism rejects infant baptism and baptism must occur after the age of accountability, defined in Latter-day Saint scripture as eight years old.
Latter-day Saint theology also teaches baptism for the dead in which deceased ancestors are baptized vicariously by the living, and believe that their practice is what Paul wrote of in 1 Corinthians 15:29. This occurs in Latter-day Saint temples.
Quakers (members of the Religious Society of Friends) do not believe in the baptism of either children or adults with water, rejecting all forms of outward sacraments in their religious life. Robert Barclay's Apology for the True Christian Divinity (a historic explanation of Quaker theology from the 17th century), explains Quakers' opposition to baptism with water thus:
"I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance; but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire".
Barclay argued that water baptism was only something that happened until the time of Christ, but that now, people are baptised inwardly by the spirit of Christ, and hence there is no need for the external sacrament of water baptism, which Quakers argue is meaningless.
The Salvation Army does not practice water baptism, or indeed other outward sacraments. William Booth and Catherine Booth, the founders of the Salvation Army, believed that many Christians had come to rely on the outward signs of spiritual grace rather than on grace itself. They believed what was important was spiritual grace itself. However, although the Salvation Army does not practice baptism, they are not opposed to baptism within other Christian denominations.
There are some Christians termed "Hyperdispensationalists" who accept only Paul's Epistles as applicable for the church today. They do not accept baptism or the Lord's Supper, since these are not found in the Prison Epistles. They also teach that Peter's gospel message was not the same as Paul's. Hyperdispensationalists assert:
Water baptism found early in the Book of Acts is, according to this view, now supplanted by the one baptism
John, as he said "baptized with water", as did Jesus's disciples to the early, Jewish Christian church. Jesus himself never personally baptized with water, but did so through his disciples.
Other Hyperdispensationalists believe that baptism was necessary only for a short period between Christ's ascension and mid-Acts. The great commission
Comparative Summary of Baptisms of Denominations of Christian Influence. (This section does not give a complete listing of denominations, and therefore, it only mentions a fraction of the churches practicing "believer's baptism".)
|Denomination||Beliefs about baptism||Type of baptism||Baptize infants?||Baptism regenerates / gives spiritual life||Standard|
|Anabaptist||Baptism is considered by the majority of Anabaptist Churches (anabaptist means to baptize again) to be essential to Christian faith but not to salvation. It is considered a biblical ordinance along with communion, feet washing, the holy kiss, the Christian woman's head covering, anointing with oil, and marriage. The Anabaptists also have stood historically against the practice of infant baptism. The Anabaptists stood firmly against infant baptism in a time when the Church and State were one and when people were made a citizen through baptism into the officially sanctioned Church (Reformed or Catholic). Belief and repentance are believed to precede and follow baptism.||By pouring, immersion or submersion.||No||No||Trinity|
|Anglican Communion||"Baptism is not only a sign of profession, and mark of difference, whereby Christian men are discerned from others that be not christened, but it is also a sign of Regeneration or New-Birth, whereby, as by an instrument, they that receive Baptism rightly are grafted into the Church; the promises of the forgiveness of sin, and of our adoption to be the sons of God by the Holy Ghost, are visibly signed and sealed; Faith is confirmed, and Grace increased by virtue of prayer unto God."||By submersion, immersion or pouring.||Yes (in most sub-denominations)||Yes (in most sub-denominations)||Trinity|
|Denomination (continued)||Beliefs about baptism||Type of baptism||Baptize infants?||Baptism regenerates / gives spiritual life||Standard|
|Apostolic Brethren||Necessary for salvation because it conveys spiritual rebirth.||By submersion only. Also stress the necessity of a “second” Baptism of a special outpouring from the Holy Spirit.||No||Yes||Jesus|
|Baptists||A divine ordinance, a symbolic ritual, a mechanism for publicly declaring one's faith, and a sign of having already been saved, but not necessary for salvation.||By submersion only.||No||No||Trinity|
|Christadelphians||Baptism is essential for the salvation of a believer. It is only effective if somebody believes the true gospel message before they are baptized. Baptism is an external symbol of an internal change in the believer: it represents a death to an old, sinful way of life, and the start of a new life as a Christian, summed up as the repentance of the believer—it therefore leads to forgiveness from God, who forgives people who repent. Although someone is only baptized once, a believer must live by the principles of their baptism (i.e.,death to sin, and a new life following Jesus) throughout their life.||By submersion only||No||Yes||The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (although Christadelphians do not believe in the Nicean trinity)|
|Denomination (continued)||Beliefs about baptism||Type of baptism||Baptize infants?||Baptism regenerates / gives spiritual life||Standard|
|Churches of Christ||Churches of Christ have historically had the most conservative position on baptism among the various branches of the Restoration Movement, understanding baptism by immersion to be a necessary part of conversion.:p.61||By immersion only:p.107:p.124||No:p.124:p.318–319:p.195||Because of the belief that baptism is a necessary part of salvation, some Baptists hold that the Churches of Christ endorse the doctrine of baptismal regeneration. However, members of the Churches of Christ reject this, arguing that since faith and repentance are necessary, and that the cleansing of sins is by the blood of Christ through the grace of God, baptism is not an inherently redeeming ritual.:p.133:p.630,631 Baptism is understood as a confessional expression of faith and repentance,:p.179–182 rather than a "work" that earns salvation.:p.170||Trinity|
|The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints||An ordinance essential to enter the Celestial Kingdom of Heaven and preparatory for receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands.||By immersion performed by a person holding proper priesthood authority.||No (at least 8 years old)||Yes||Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost (The LDS church doesn't believe in the Nicean trinity, but rather in the Godhead)|
|Denomination (continued)||Beliefs about baptism||Type of baptism||Baptize infants?||Baptism regenerates / gives spiritual life||Standard|
|Jehovah’s Witnesses||Baptism is necessary for salvation as part of the entire baptismal arrangement: as an expression of obedience to Jesus' command (Matthew 28:19–20), as a public symbol of the saving faith in the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Romans 10:10), and as an indication of repentance from dead works and the dedication of one's life to Jehovah. (1 Peter 2:21) However, baptism does not guarantee salvation.||By submersion only; typical candidates are baptized at district and circuit conventions.||No||No||Jesus|
|Lutherans||Baptism is a miraculous Sacrament through which God creates and/or strengthens the gift of faith in a person's heart. "Although we do not claim to understand how this happens or how it is possible, we believe (because of what the Bible says about baptism) that when an infant is baptized, God creates faith in the heart of that infant."||By sprinkling, pouring or immersion.||Yes||Yes||Trinity|
|Methodists (Arminians, Wesleyans)||The Sacrament of initiation into Christ's holy Church whereby one is incorporated into God's mighty acts of salvation and given new birth through water and the spirit. Baptism washes away sin and clothes one in the righteousness of Christ.||By sprinkling, pouring, or immersion.||Yes||Yes, although contingent upon repentance and a personal acceptance of Christ as Saviour.||Trinity|
|Denomination (continued)||Beliefs about baptism||Type of baptism||Baptize infants?||Baptism regenerates / gives spiritual life||Standard|
|Oneness Pentecostals||Being baptized is an ordinance directed and established by Jesus and the Apostles.||By submersion. Also stress the necessity of a baptism of a the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; 8:14–17, 35–38).||No||Yes||Jesus|
|Trinitarian Pentecostals and various "Holiness" groups, Christian Missionary Alliance, Assemblies of God||Water Baptism is an ordinance, a symbolic ritual used to witness to having accepted Christ as personal Savior.||By submersion. Also stress the necessity of a “second” Baptism of a special outpouring from the Holy Spirit.||No||Varies||Trinity|
|Presbyterian and most Reformed churches||A sacrament, a symbolic ritual, and a seal of the adult believer’s present faith. It is an outward sign of an inward grace.||By sprinkling, pouring, immersion or submersion||Yes, to indicate membership in the New Covenant.||No||Trinity|
|Quakers (Religious Society of Friends)||Only an external symbol that is no longer to be practiced||Do not believe in Baptism of water, but only in an inward, ongoing purification of the human spirit in a life of discipline led by the Holy Spirit. ||—||—||—|
|Revivalism||A necessary step for salvation.||By submersion, with the expectation of receiving the Holy Spirit.||No||Yes||Trinity|
|Denomination (continued)||Beliefs about baptism||Type of baptism||Baptize infants?||Baptism regenerates / gives spiritual life||Standard|
|Roman Catholic Church||"Necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament"||Usually by pouring in the West, by submersion or immersion in the East; sprinkling admitted only if the water then flows on the head.||Yes||Yes||Trinity|
|Seventh-day Adventists||Not stated as the prerequisite to salvation, but a prerequisite for becoming a member of the church, although nonmembers are still accepted in the church. It symbolizes death to sin and new birth in Jesus Christ. "It affirms joining the family of God and sets on apart for a life of ministry."||By submersion.||No||No||Trinity|
|United Church of Christ (Evangelical and Reformed Churches and the Congregational Christian Churches)||One of two sacraments. Baptism is an outward sign of God's inward grace. It may or may not be necessary for membership in a local congregation. However, it is a common practice for both infants and adults.||By sprinkling, pouring, immersion or submersion.||Yes, to indicate membership in the New Covenant.||No||Trinity|
Many cultures practice or have practiced initiation rites, with or without the use of water, including the ancient Egyptian, the Hebraic/Jewish, the Babylonian, the Mayan, and the Norse cultures. The modern Japanese practice of Miyamairi is such as ceremony that does not use water. In some, such evidence may be archaeological and descriptive in nature, rather than a modern practice.
Apuleius, a 2nd-century Roman writer, described an initiation into the mysteries of Isis. The initiation was preceded by a normal bathing in the public baths and a ceremonial sprinkling by the priest of Isis, after which the candidate was given secret instructions in the temple of the goddess. The candidate then fasted for ten days from meat and wine, after which he was dressed in linen and led at night into the innermost part of the sanctuary, where the actual initiation, the details of which were secret, took place. On the next two days, dressed in the robes of his consecration, he participated in feasting. Apuleius describes also an initiation into the cult of Osiris and yet a third initiation, of the same pattern as the initiation into the cult of Isis, without mention of a preliminary bathing.
The water-less initiations of Lucius, the character in Apuleius's story who had been turned into an ass and changed back by Isis into human form, into the successive degrees of the rites of the goddess was accomplished only after a significant period of study to demonstrate his loyalty and trustworthiness, akin to catechumenal practices preceding baptism in Christianity.
The Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica, or Gnostic Catholic Church (the ecclesiastical arm of Ordo Templi Orientis), offers its Rite of Baptism to any person at least 11 years old. The ceremony is performed before a Gnostic Mass and represents a symbolic birth into the Thelemic community.
The word "baptism" or "christening" is sometimes used to describe the inauguration of certain objects for use.
Mainline Christian churches see baptism as a once-in-a-lifetime event that can be neither repeated nor undone. They hold that those who have been baptized remain baptized, even if they renounce the Christian faith by adopting a non-Christian religion or by rejecting religion entirely.
In addition to de facto renunciation through apostasy, heresy, or schism, the Roman Catholic Church envisaged from 1983 to 2009 the possibility of formal defection from the Church through a decision manifested personally, consciously and freely, and in writing, to the competent church authority, who was then to judge whether it was genuinely a case of "true separation from the constitutive elements of the life of the Church ... (by) an act of apostasy, heresy or schism." A formal defection of this kind was then noted in the register of the person's baptism, an annotation that, like those of marriage or ordination, was independent of the fact of the baptism and was not an actual "debaptism", even if the person who formally defected from the Catholic Church had also defected from the Christian religion. The fact of having been baptized remains a fact and the Catholic Church holds that baptism marks a person with a lasting seal or character that "is an ontological and permanent bond which is not lost by reason of any act or fact of defection." Nonetheless, formal requests for debaptisms are made; in France, a man sued the French catholic church for "its refusal to let him nullify his baptism." He had been "un-baptized" in 2000, and ten years later he demanded to have his name stricken from the baptismal records, a request granted by a judge in Normany, a decision appealed by the church.
Some atheist organizations, such as the Italian Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics and the British National Secular Society, offer certificates of "debaptism". Not even those who provide the certificates consider them as having legal or canonical effect. The Church of England refuses to take any action on presentation of the certificate. The Roman Catholic Church likewise treats it as any other act of renunciation of the Catholic faith, although for a few years, from 2006 to 2009, it did note in the baptismal register any formal act of defection from the Catholic Church, a concept quite distinct from that of presentation of such a certificate.
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