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leveck
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« on: November 25, 2009, 11:31:34 PM »

I am exploring Orthodoxy and I am really liking what I am finding.  I read that the RCC does not re-baptize protestants who have been baptized.  My mother was a catholic when I was born (later converted to Jehovah's Witness, which is how I was raised, but which I left some 15 years ago), and wanted to baptize me as a catholic.  My father's family would have none of this and instead I was baptized in a Methodist church.

Does orthodox Christianity recognize this baptism, or would I need to have a redo?  If it is not recognized, that is okay, what little I have read on orthodox baptism (I have been tied up on other research topics) makes it sound like a thing I would like to experience.
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Paisius
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« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2009, 11:35:58 PM »

I am exploring Orthodoxy and I am really liking what I am finding.  I read that the RCC does not re-baptize protestants who have been baptized.  My mother was a catholic when I was born (later converted to Jehovah's Witness, which is how I was raised, but which I left some 15 years ago), and wanted to baptize me as a catholic.  My father's family would have none of this and instead I was baptized in a Methodist church.

Does orthodox Christianity recognize this baptism, or would I need to have a redo?  If it is not recognized, that is okay, what little I have read on orthodox baptism (I have been tied up on other research topics) makes it sound like a thing I would like to experience.

Most jurisdictions will accept it if it was performed with the correct Trinitarian formula (by triple immersion in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit).


Yours in Christ
Joe
« Last Edit: November 25, 2009, 11:36:28 PM by Paisius » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2009, 11:41:43 PM »

Welcome to the forum!

Whether or not a baptism is performed depends on the bishop and the jurisdiction.  My church, the Serbian Orthodox Church, baptizes all converts, regardless of previous baptisms.  Most others are much more flexible.

An important point of distinction needs to be made.  We only acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins, and as such the Orthodox Church does not 'recognize' the validity of other baptisms outside of herself; outside of the Church.  Those Orthodox churches which do not baptize converts who were previously baptized outside of the Church do this by divine economy.

Basically, when the convert is chrismated into the Church, the seal of the Holy Spirit gives grace to the previous baptism and fulfills it.  There is no acknowledgment of sacramental grace outside of the Church.  God can give grace however he wants to, the Orthodox Church doesn't dispute that, however we can only affirm that grace which is conferred within the visible parameters of the Church Militant.

Most jurisdictions will accept it if it was performed with the correct Trinitarian formula (by triple immersion in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit).

I knew the baptism had to be Trinitarian, but I think that divine economy is still applied to those baptisms which were a single immersion in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2009, 11:44:54 PM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
leveck
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« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2009, 11:42:29 PM »

Most jurisdictions will accept it if it was performed with the correct Trinitarian formula (by triple immersion in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit).


Yours in Christ
Joe

Thank you for the quick reply.

That gives me pause... I do not know much about Methodism (other than basic history -- they follow the teachings of Wesley, an Anglican priest).  Could I just get a redo?

I think I need much more reading and soul searching before I take the plunge.  I also need to work on my personal issue with prayer.  It is something that has not ever been habitual with me, and that I would love to fix.
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« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2009, 11:46:36 PM »

I also need to work on my personal issue with prayer.  It is something that has not ever been habitual with me, and that I would love to fix.

Well, you don't have to try to do that alone!  The Orthodox Church helped me so much with this by providing a set prayer rule for every morning and evening.  I still don't do it all of the time, but things have really improved over the last year and a half.
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leveck
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« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2009, 11:49:05 PM »

Welcome to the forum!

Whether or not a baptism is performed depends on the bishop and the jurisdiction.  My church, the Serbian Orthodox Church, baptizes all converts, regardless of previous baptisms.  Most others are much more flexible.

An important point of distinction needs to be made.  We only acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins, and as such the Orthodox Church does not 'recognize' the validity of other baptisms outside of herself; outside of the Church.  Those Orthodox churches which do not baptize converts who were previously baptized outside of the Church do this by divine economy.

Basically, when the convert is chrismated into the Church, the seal of the Holy Spirit gives grace to the previous baptism and fulfills it.  There is no acknowledgment of sacramental grace outside of the Church.  God can give grace however he wants to, the Orthodox Church doesn't dispute that, however we can only affirm that grace which is conferred within the visible parameters of the Church Militant.

Thank you for the welcome.

I have not contacted my local church (Greek Orthodox) to speak to anyone.  The nonrecognition of outside baptism makes sense.  Once I have satisfied myself with a bit more knowledge of Orthodoxy, I will take the next logical step of speaking to a priest.  I have a little trepidation that stems from unfamiliarity and fear of the unknown.  Overcoming this should be as simple as learning more and making contact.

Thank you for your reply.
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leveck
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« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2009, 11:52:01 PM »

I also need to work on my personal issue with prayer.  It is something that has not ever been habitual with me, and that I would love to fix.

Well, you don't have to try to do that alone!  The Orthodox Church helped me so much with this by providing a set prayer rule for every morning and evening.  I still don't do it all of the time, but things have really improved over the last year and a half.

That would be very helpful.  I always feel as though there is a barrier between God and I.  Having some guidance in overcoming this would be nice indeed.
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« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2009, 11:54:08 PM »

I have not contacted my local church (Greek Orthodox) to speak to anyone.

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America would not perform a baptism upon conversion.  A Methodist baptism is able to be completed by chrismation in the interpretation of the American-Greek bishops, generally speaking.  But if you have doubts about the formula, they might simply redo it.
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Paisius
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« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2009, 12:05:24 AM »

But if you have doubts about the formula, they might simply redo it.

They would probably perform a provisional baptism, in case a valid baptism has not occurred I baptize you in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


Yours in Christ
Joe
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« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2009, 12:37:32 AM »

Welcome to the forum!

One thing that you will find in the Orthodox Church is the emphasis of developing a relationship with a Spiritual Father. It is under his guidance and direction (which ultimately goes up to the Bishop) that will determine how you pray, how you fast, and how you are received into the Church.

Having said this, I would strongly recommend you contacting your local priest as soon as possible to come under his guidance and direction in your path towards Orthodoxy.

While internet forums are fine, nothing replaces the relationship of one's Spiritual Father. Smiley

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O Holy St. Demetrius pray to God for us!


« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2009, 12:42:20 AM »

Here is where you can find more information regarding Baptism and Chrismation:

Information on Holy Chrism:
http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith8420

Great article on the Sacraments, including Baptism and Chrismation:
http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith7105

Article on Infant Baptism
http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith7067

The Service of Holy Baptism
http://www.goarch.org/chapel/liturgical_texts/baptism
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« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2009, 12:48:15 AM »

They would probably perform a provisional baptism, in case a valid baptism has not occurred I baptize you in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The Church does not recognize the validity of baptisms outside of herself.  The chrism makes the previous baptism valid.
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Paisius
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« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2009, 01:02:04 AM »

They would probably perform a provisional baptism, in case a valid baptism has not occurred I baptize you in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The Church does not recognize the validity of baptisms outside of herself.  The chrism makes the previous baptism valid.

The Church will always baptize a convert unless the correct, valid formula was used in their previous baptism. If for instance the person was baptized in the name of Jesus, not using the valid formula, that person would receive Orthodox baptism. If there is a question as to whether or not the correct formula was used, and since we accept only one baptism, the priest will perform a conditional baptism.


Yours in Christ
Joe
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« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2009, 01:11:05 AM »

If there is a question as to whether or not the correct formula was used, and since we accept only one baptism, the priest will perform a conditional baptism.

There is no need for a "conditional" baptism, as there is no way for the priest to err in baptizing the convert.  Even if the baptismal form itself was absolutely perfect according to Orthodox standards, the fact that it occurred outside of the Church by a heterodox group means that it bears no recognizable grace.  A priest never sins in baptizing a convert under any conditions, as it is always only one baptism. 

The clause in the Creed is to protect against the belief that Christians can continue to receive baptisms throughout their lives to wash away their sins.  One time, in the Church, period.  Those baptisms outside of the Church do not count toward the 'one' baptism.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2009, 01:11:49 AM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
Shlomlokh
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« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2009, 01:13:26 AM »

If there is a question as to whether or not the correct formula was used, and since we accept only one baptism, the priest will perform a conditional baptism.

There is no need for a "conditional" baptism, as there is no way for the priest to err in baptizing the convert.  Even if the baptismal form itself was absolutely perfect according to Orthodox standards, the fact that it occurred outside of the Church by a heterodox group means that it bears no recognizable grace.  A priest never sins in baptizing a convert under any conditions, as it is always only one baptism. 

The clause in the Creed is to protect against the belief that Christians can continue to receive baptisms throughout their lives to wash away their sins.  One time, in the Church, period.  Those baptisms outside of the Church do not count toward the 'one' baptism.
This was my understanding, too.

I was baptized Methodist, but am opting to be baptized Orthodox. While my priest and bishop do not demand it be done, they highly recommend it. I agree with them.

In Christ,
Andrew
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leveck
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« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2009, 02:00:06 AM »

Here is where you can find more information regarding Baptism and Chrismation:

Information on Holy Chrism:
http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith8420

Great article on the Sacraments, including Baptism and Chrismation:
http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith7105

Article on Infant Baptism
http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith7067

The Service of Holy Baptism
http://www.goarch.org/chapel/liturgical_texts/baptism

Thank you!  I will read these links as time permits.  I appreciate your time in listing these resources.
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leveck
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« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2009, 02:04:56 AM »

But if you have doubts about the formula, they might simply redo it.

They would probably perform a provisional baptism, in case a valid baptism has not occurred I baptize you in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


Yours in Christ
Joe

This is what I have read of the RCC doing.  Pretty much covering all the bases while being in the clear in case the Lord sees the original baptism as valid.

If there is a question as to whether or not the correct formula was used, and since we accept only one baptism, the priest will perform a conditional baptism.

There is no need for a "conditional" baptism, as there is no way for the priest to err in baptizing the convert.  Even if the baptismal form itself was absolutely perfect according to Orthodox standards, the fact that it occurred outside of the Church by a heterodox group means that it bears no recognizable grace.  A priest never sins in baptizing a convert under any conditions, as it is always only one baptism. 

The clause in the Creed is to protect against the belief that Christians can continue to receive baptisms throughout their lives to wash away their sins.  One time, in the Church, period.  Those baptisms outside of the Church do not count toward the 'one' baptism.

This makes sense as well.  If the Orthodox Church is the one true holy apostolic and catholic church, then all others baptizing would not be doing so with validity.
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« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2009, 02:13:04 AM »

If the Orthodox Church is the one true holy apostolic and catholic church, then all others baptizing would not be doing so with validity.

And just to be clear once more, I am not saying that God does not off his grace through baptisms outside of the Church, I am simply saying that the Church cannot "recognize" sacramental grace outside of herself.  Imagine if the Church had to try to determine the "validity" of all of Christendom outside of herself!  What a headache.

If you are coming to the Orthodox faith, then surely some form of grace must be following you.

May God guide your steps, now and forever.
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