Sunday, December 18, 2011

Guest Blog: Who Can Baptize?

The Followers of Christ teach that only certain people have the authority to baptize. Only a preacher – an apostle on par with the Apostle Paul – can perform a legitimate baptism. Followers believe that salvation can be obtained only through baptism by an Apostle.


Since their apostle – Walter White – has been dead since 1969, baptism is no longer possible. The children and grandchildren of the baptized are told they are born holy – and may have an opportunity to be baptized on Judgment Day. Outsiders – “worldy people” – cannot be saved. What happened to the Great Commission? What happened to the Good News? I never heard of these things until long after I left.


Followers take Jesus' statement to Nicodemus in John 3:5: “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit” to mean that you must be baptized with water to be saved. While the understanding of most Christians and Biblical scholars is that being “born of water” happens to us at birth, and being born of the Spirit happens when we accept the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.


In today's message, Jerry Patton addresses the question of who can baptize.

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In my last post, I mentioned how baptism is not owned by anyone. This is true, however, through some church doctrines and traditions, access to baptism has been strictly controlled and sadly - even prohibited.

In my studies, I have never read anything that grants a particular type of disciple an exclusive authority to baptize. In the New Testament we hear Paul talk about deacons and elders (also known as shepherds or bishops) who hold an office of service within a church and their overall charge is to serve the flock. We also hear Paul talk about the Apostles and the work they engaged in, which in his case, was to be a herald of the gospel to the gentiles (the pagan world). Not even Paul as an Apostle claimed exclusive authority to baptize. In I Corinthians, he counsels the disciples at Corinth about unity within the body of Christ:

My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”

Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, so no one can say that you were baptized in my name. (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. 1 Corinthians 1:10-17

Paul says that he did not baptize anyone other than Crispus, Gaius, and the household of Stephanas. It doesn’t stipulate who baptized the others. If it were important to stipulate a restriction concerning baptism, he would have stated it somewhere. But even here, in this case, when he’s discussing who baptized who – it isn’t addressed. It isn’t addressed because there was no restriction. There wasn’t then and there isn’t now. Paul spells out in his letter to the Romans and Galatians that we are free in Christ, not to sin, but to serve – for we are no longer under law, but under grace.

The short of it is that any disciple of Christ can baptize a non-believer into the Kingdom as they repent of their sins and confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Any disciple can study with a non-believer and when that non-believer decides and is ready to start their walk with Christ, the disciple can baptize that non-believer. Every disciple has a ministry for they are part of “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession.” I Peter 2:9

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. John 1:6-13

The Prophet/Apostle thing cuts both ways. With the authority they were claiming, they had an inside track on being in good with God and if you were a good boy or girl, they would give you access to a real church family and things flourished. While many of them were not even born or very young, these guys were building their own church-lore and ingrained it into their offspring. No one ever thought to ask, "What happens when Walter dies?" So who's gonna feed this monster. God isn't. Who has the guts to stand up and say, "I've been called (as the new church Prophet)"?

As with any group, over a period of time, factions form and they slap anyone down that tries to take over. So they're dying a slow death. They're cut off in so many ways. They flourished because of a Prophet and now they are dying because of him. Their savior is in Carus cemetary rotting, mine is in heaven reigning.

Don’t let any man stand in the way of your relationship with God.

9 comments:

  1. That's wonderful insight, thanks for that. Also this is very true looking at Suzi's blog. Too bad they can't see what they're doing to themselves and children by perverting the word of God.

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  2. Thank you so much for your insight, Suzi. It is really too bad that they don't realize that anyone in the church since Walters' death needs to be baptized. If they would study and read the word of God they would realize that. But most of them have been brainwashed since they were young or born. I know a lot of them and it breaks my heart, I pray for their salvation and that they will come to the Lord through Christ and baptism.

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  3. I like this post. thanks.

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  4. I know this is old but I couldn't help but comment, what a wonderful insight! They lived with Walter and now they are dying rapidly because of him! It's too bad that most of them will never truly grasp reality and come to the knowledge of the truth! Reading all of these posts is opening my eyes even more to what Mr. White was truly about. My thoughts and prayers will still always go out to the follower church that the deception is shown but until then... Keep posting these they are good for people to see thanks Suzi

    Brian Moore

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  5. I have one question WHO BAPTISMS PAUL ??

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    1. Who BAPTIZED PAUL ?? (sorry about the spelling before)
      The question steal stands, Anyone, come on folks please read your bible this is part of salvation (With love of Jesus Christ) Jim

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    2. "And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

      And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized."

      Acts 9:17-18 (KJV)

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    3. As far as I can tell, Ananias was a layperson - a believer, but not a minister.

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  6. I grew up a fundamentalist Baptist preacher’s son, very well educated in Baptist doctrine. I became an evangelical in my twenties: same doctrines just with a more positive emphasis. I am now a conservative (confessional) Lutheran.

    Why did I become a Lutheran if I was taught, and still believe, that salvation is received through faith alone, in Christ alone? How could I join a Church that believes that God saves and forgives sins in Baptism? Baptism is a work!

    I became a conservative Lutheran when I realized that the reason Baptists and evangelicals do not and cannot understand infant baptism and baptismal regeneration is that they do not understand how a sinner obtains FAITH!

    As I said above, I was a Baptist preacher’s son. When I was nine years old, I got into trouble, and my mother gave me a well-deserved spanking. After the spanking, she talked to me about sin and that I needed to be saved. She led me in a prayer to ask Jesus to forgive me of my sins, come into my heart, and be my Lord and Savior. I remember feeling so good after finishing that prayer. I was saved!

    I was then told that God would now speak to me or move me or lead me to do things to follow his will for my life. All the Christians around me were talking about God moving them, leading them, speaking to them…but I just didn’t have the same intensity of feelings that most of them seemed to have. So when I was about 15, hearing a good Baptist sermon, I asked myself this, “Maybe the reason God doesn’t speak to me like he does other Christians is probably because I am not really saved! I didn’t really believe the first time. Maybe I didn’t fully repent. Maybe I didn’t have enough faith.” So I prayed the equivalent of the Sinner’s Prayer again, with all sincerity and contrition for my sins. I felt that rush of good feelings again. I was happy. I now knew that I was definitely saved!

    But then in my early 20′s I attended a non-denominational evangelical church (with Baptist doctrine). The people in this church REALLY had God. They would sway with the hymns, hands toward heaven, their eyes rolling back in the heads. "Wow! God REALLY speaks to these people! So why doesn’t he speak to me like that? There must be something wrong with me, because I don’t FEEL saved anymore!"

    I left the Church altogether.

    I was not the only Baptist/evangelical to undergo several born again experiences because we didn’t FEEL saved. My mother, the pastor’s wife, several years later, the person who had “led me to Christ”, decided that she wasn’t really saved either, so she repeated her born again experience just to be sure. And several other people in my church repeated their born again experience for the same reason: they weren't sure that they had done it right. If you go on your computer and google “how many times have you prayed the Sinner's Prayer?” you will find other Baptists/evangelicals who have gone through the same experience.

    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20060728125929AAnQHZp

    The problem with the Baptist/evangelical Doctrine of Faith is that it is based on US! Our salvation is based on us having the maturity and intelligence to make a free will decision to accept Christ into our hearts, So if later on in life we start to question our salvation due to not FEELING saved, what do we have to fall back on? Ourselves! Did I really repent? Did I really have true faith or was I trusting in my own faith? At nine years old did I really have the maturity to make a decision? MAYBE I DIDN’T DO IT RIGHT! So just to be on the safe side, I’ll sincerely repeat a version of the Sinner’s Prayer, and make 100% sure that, this time, I do everything right!

    So, in this plan of salvation, which is supposed to be a FREE gift from God, we turn it into something that depends on us…on us doing the born again experience correctly!

    To read the rest of my story, click here:

    http://www.lutherwasnotbornagain.com/2013/06/the-reason-baptists-and-evanglicals.html

    God bless,
    Gary
    Luther, Baptists, and Evangelicals

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