The Pastor\’s Pen

An Independent Baptist Preacher\’s Musings and Observations

Addressing Alien Baptism

Posted by Pastor Szekely on February 22, 2007

Alien Baptism [or Alien immersion] is any baptism that DOES NOT meet all Scriptural requirements. My question is: Should a true New Testament Church accept or reject these baptisms that do not meet all the Scriptural requirements? To answer this, we need to know these Scriptural requirements against which a baptism ought to be checked.

The first Scriptural requirement for a true baptism is that the ordinance must be administered by a proper authority. Baptism is not a Christian practice, although one needs to be a Christian to practice it! For example: I just can’t go out and start immersing people in water without the authority from the church I pastor. To have Scriptural Baptism, a proper authority is first needed.

When the Lord Jesus gave the Great Commission, He didn’t give it to an individual, but to individuals; He gave it to His church [His assembled membership] to be carried out until He returned. Matthew 28:18-20 declares, “And Jesus came and spake unto them {who’s the them? It is His church}, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 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.”

Christ commanded and authorized His church – His called-out assembly – to evangelize, to baptize, and to disciple converts. As a pastor I cannot baptize anyone into the membership of this Body of Christ [this church I pastor] without it’s approval. That’s Scriptural, and that’s the proper authority!

The second Scriptural requirement for true baptism is a proper candidate. The Bible tells us that ONLY people who have repented of sin and placed their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for their sin debt to be paid and be saved are proper candidates for true baptism. According to Mark 16:16 one must first believe – place his faith and trust in Christ – and then be baptized. In Acts 2:41 those who gladly received the Word were baptized. Acts 8:12 says that people who believed on the things that Philip preached were baptized. Also the Ethiopian Eunuch had to first believe and then be baptized (Acts 8:35-37)…and so on. As Baptists, and as Scripture dictates, “we put the Blood in every case before the water. We do not teach that baptism is essential to salvation, but that salvation is essential to baptism. All others teach through the water to the Blood. Baptists [and the Bible] teach through the Blood to the water”.  (J.R. Graves)

The third Scriptural requirement for true baptism is a proper mode, or method. Immersion in water can be the only correct method. Now there are many places in the New Testament to prove this, but for the sake of space and for the sake of being obvious, may we find the proof in the word itself. Baptize comes from the word baptizo, and it ONLY MEANS to dip, plunge, immerse. Baptizo DOES NOT MEAN to sprinkle or to pour…not anywhere or at any time! THE ONLY SCRIPTURAL METHOD of baptism can only be immersion in water!

The fourth and last Scriptural requirement for true baptism is a proper purpose. Baptism has a two-fold purpose: 1) IDENTIFICATION – Romans 6:4, “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Scriptural baptism identifies the one baptized as being dead to the old life of sin and risen to a new life in the Lord Jesus Christ. 2) CHURCH MEMBERSHIP – 1 Corinthians 12:12-14, “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. (vs13) For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body…(vs14) For the body is not one member, but many.” The Bible tells us that a body of Christ [which is a church: Eph 1:22-23; Col 1:18, 24; etc] is made up of members. And those members are baptized into that body by – or by the authority of – the Spirit. So a proper candidate will be baptized to identify himself with Christ and to join up with the members of that local assembly of believers…that’s the proper purpose!

In review and in closing, these are the four Scriptural requirements for true baptism:

proper authority / proper candidate / proper method / proper purpose

If a baptism does not meet ALL of these requirements, it cannot be considered a true and Scriptural baptism; therefore, it must then be considered and called Alien baptism. Should a true, New Testament church accept alien baptism? The answer must be no…alien baptism must be rejected and Scriptural baptism must be required.

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10 Responses to “Addressing Alien Baptism”

  1. Jeff said

    AMEN, Brother this is great. Agree 100%.

    When the baptismal issue is right, it makes Closed communion right.

    God Bless,

  2. Bro. Szekely said

    That’s right on, Bro. Jeff! Great comment!

    Lord bless…BTW: I need to add sprucelandbaptist.com to my “churches” list on the right…will do that!

  3. Bill said

    I find it ironic that after acceptance into God’s family “just as I am without one plea” on the basis of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and his finished work that I am then supposed to jump through hoops to join a church, such as concerning myself with whether the person who baptized me is considered by some to be a “proper authority” (a baptist, according to pastor friend of mine whose mentor was an independent, fundamental, serial pedophile pastor from Trinity Baptist in Jacksonville…a proper authority indeed.)

  4. Really, Bill??? YOU find it ironic???

    I’m sorry YOU cannot understand Bible-authority and what’s been presented. I’m not trying to “slam” you on this, but from what you’ve said, YOU have become the authority on what “should be” when it comes to joining a church. Please…show us in the Bible where someone has “joined up with the disciples” and how. Show us how someone was “allowed” or permitted to be a part of their groups.

    And BTW: Just because a man sinned in Jacksonville doesn’t change the Bible-fact of proper authority…indeed.

  5. Bill said

    Thanks for the response, Mike.

    Romans 15:7 states, “Receive ye one another, even as Christ received you…” The comparative phrase, “even as” indicates that since I was received on the condition of faith alone, I should receive Christian brethren on the same condition. The “one another” in this verse would include the weakest Christian, without whom the Body of Christ is incomplete.

    Note that Paul brings up baptism in his rebuke of the carnal believers in I Corinthians 1:11-15 for their sectarian attitudes. It looks to me that they were overly concerned with the “proper authority” (Apollos or Cephas or whoever…)

    May I ask you a question or two, perhaps? Imagine that the Bible actually said, “The only true churches are the ones with ‘Baptist’ on the sign. And the Lord only recognizes baptisms by ministers in Baptist churches.” What would be different about your beliefs if the Bible said such. I ask because, while the Bible of course says no such thing (not even remotely) you seem to hold to such a position.

    And another point of clarification: Had I been baptized by Dr Bob Gray of Trinity Baptist in Jacksonville (the aforementioned serial pedophile,) would you consider me to be baptized by a proper authority? I’m just curious on this particular point.

    In Christ, Bill…

  6. G’day Bill!

    Let me just first say that the “proper authority” is not found in a pastor…the “proper authority” is found in that particular assembly.

    There are true Scriptural, N.T. churches today…there has to be, for the Lord promised there would be till He come again. There are also false churches today. The name DOES NOT qualify the congregation as a true church…so let me ask you: What does? How can we determine a true from a false church? I believe the Scriptural practice of the only two CHURCH ordinances goes a long way in that determination.

    What say you?

  7. Bill said

    What say I? I trust you had a buon Natale and HYN2U2.

    Before I address your request…

    The Scriptures do not record the words you attributed to the Lord. Your position is FOUNDED upon a re-word of the Scriptures, a necessary re-word to make your position “scriptural.” The reason that you can so casually re-word the Scriptures is that you folks are so isolated that there is no one who stands up and says, “Danger Will Robinson, the Scriptures don’t actually say that….let’s get back to what the Book actually says.” I’m not sure which passage you re-worded; I will assume you re-worded Matthew 16:18, “…upon this rock I will build my church.” You may sincerely believe that your exegetical (or eisegetical) paraphrase is synonymous, but such an assumption would be sincerely wrong. The arbitrary changing of a singular object or object pronoun into the plural is significant. At least you don’t do so with I Tim 2 and state that there is a plurality of mediators between God and man.

    It is by this method that you are able to start with the passages in Matt 28: 18-20, Acts 8:12, Acts 8:35-37, I Corinthians 12: 12-14, Eph 1: 22-23 and Col 1: 18, 24….add a little commentary here, an assumption there, re-word this passage, a little logical continuation and….voila – God is only pleased with baptisms performed by our little group. When I read those passages without the extra baggage, I come nowhere the same conclusion. I recommend taking dogmatic positions that don’t require so much commentary. Example: I believe in the virgin birth because of what’s said in Isaiah 7:14. The reader can look it up. No commentary is necessary.

    As to your question asking how to differentiate between the true and the false church….I find your absolute categorization (drawn from the foundation of words never spoken from the Lord) of true and false to be too Boolean compared to what I read in the Scriptures – the Corinthians had morality problems, the Galatians got off track from preaching the gospel, etc. Hence I will re-word your question to read as, “in what church would I put my confidence in trust or recommend to another.” I would compare the church’s beliefs, conduct and attitude to that of the sole authority for all faith and practice – the Bible as it is actually written. Rather than starting with the ordinances, I would put a far greater emphasis on whether that church preaches the gospel. The participation of the church in the carrying out of the great commission would also be a greater factor in my evaluation. If you’re aware of a better criteria for evaluation of a church then please advise with Scripture references (unadulterated.) There is also a personal aspect to this if I am looking for a church. I am looking to be blessed so that I can also be a blessing. I drive further down the road if the church is wrapped up in an elitist mindset, writing little tracts that state how lucky God is to have us – “the true believers” – the small but sterling set of spiritual warriors who fear nothing except the possibility that someone was baptized by a church that wasn’t “one of us.” Mark 9:38, 39 comes to mind.

    In Christ, Bill

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