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Author Topic: St. Cyprian and "re"-Baptism  (Read 1497 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: May 22, 2011, 02:26:12 AM »

Hello all, I was chrismated into the Orthodox Church from the Methodist Church over a year ago, and I still wish that I had been baptized. I always viewed chrismation-only into Orthodoxy as not something favorable, and this was only reinforced upon me reading that St. Cyprian always "re"-baptized those who were baptized by heretics. Is there an explanation for our current "chrismation-only" procedure?
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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2011, 02:31:50 AM »

Hello all, I was chrismated into the Orthodox Church from the Methodist Church over a year ago, and I still wish that I had been baptized. I always viewed chrismation-only into Orthodoxy as not something favorable, and this was only reinforced upon me reading that St. Cyprian always "re"-baptized those who were baptized by heretics. Is there an explanation for our current "chrismation-only" procedure?
Have you not also read about St. Cyprian's debates with Pope St. Stephen of Rome, who argued that the Apostolic practice of Peter and Paul was to NOT rebaptize those who had been baptized by heretics? Why limit yourself to just St. Cyprian?
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« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2011, 02:41:47 AM »

Cyprian was right. However, St Basil and others said that one could use economia. That will make your baptism, which was originally lacking Grace, Grace filled. So it is the same they are just not questioning the form.
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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2011, 02:43:32 AM »

If it's any consolation Fr Seraphim Rose was baptized Methodist as a teenager of 14 and then later he was received into Orthodoxy by Chrismation.

And the holy new Martyr Saint Elizabeth was a Lutheran and she was received by Chrismation.

If either of us reach the holiness of either of them we'll be doing very well.   laugh

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« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2011, 03:41:14 AM »

Cyprian was right.
WHY was Cyprian right and, by extension, Pope Stephen wrong?
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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2011, 03:56:46 AM »

Cyprian was right. However, St Basil and others said that one could use economia. That will make your baptism, which was originally lacking Grace, Grace filled. So it is the same they are just not questioning the form.

On the whole the Orthodox adhere to the theology of Saint Cyprian of Carthage who taught us that there are no Mysteries (and that includes Baptism) outside the Church of Christ.

Irish Melkite wrote an excellent post on this, contrasting the (Orthodox) Cyprianic theology of the Mysteries with the (Roman Catholic) Augustinian theology.

If you jump over to this thread, it is message No. 18

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13357.msg185268.html#msg185268
 
 
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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2011, 06:33:32 AM »

Hello all, I was chrismated into the Orthodox Church from the Methodist Church over a year ago, and I still wish that I had been baptized. I always viewed chrismation-only into Orthodoxy as not something favorable, and this was only reinforced upon me reading that St. Cyprian always "re"-baptized those who were baptized by heretics. Is there an explanation for our current "chrismation-only" procedure?
I am in a smimilar situation except that i have not been recieved into the church yet. I know that I will probably be recieved by chrismation when that time comes but I still hope that I can somehow convince the priest to baptize me.  Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2011, 10:50:59 AM »

Hello all, I was chrismated into the Orthodox Church from the Methodist Church over a year ago, and I still wish that I had been baptized. I always viewed chrismation-only into Orthodoxy as not something favorable, and this was only reinforced upon me reading that St. Cyprian always "re"-baptized those who were baptized by heretics. Is there an explanation for our current "chrismation-only" procedure?
I am in a smimilar situation except that i have not been recieved into the church yet. I know that I will probably be recieved by chrismation when that time comes but I still hope that I can somehow convince the priest to baptize me.  Smiley
Why? Why not just submit to being received the way your priest and your bishop wish to receive you?
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« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2011, 11:21:18 AM »

Hello all, I was chrismated into the Orthodox Church from the Methodist Church over a year ago, and I still wish that I had been baptized. I always viewed chrismation-only into Orthodoxy as not something favorable, and this was only reinforced upon me reading that St. Cyprian always "re"-baptized those who were baptized by heretics. Is there an explanation for our current "chrismation-only" procedure?
I am in a smimilar situation except that i have not been recieved into the church yet. I know that I will probably be recieved by chrismation when that time comes but I still hope that I can somehow convince the priest to baptize me.  Smiley
Why? Why not just submit to being received the way your priest and your bishop wish to receive you?

Priests will tell us that people converting who strongly desire Baptism but are only chrismated by the receiving priest may find the wish that they had been baptized will not leave them.  It lives in their souls and niggles away at them.  Some of these people will visit Jerusalem where the priests will baptize those Orthodox not received by Baptism.   Or the Holy Mountain where the monks will refuse communion unless you are baptized, or even some of the Russian monasteries which will also not give communion to those who have not had an Orthodox baptism.   So the person, encountering this in Jerusalem or Athos or Russia will agree to Baptism.   

My personal opinion is that these Baptisms, sometime years after reception into Orthodoxy, should not take place but the fact is that they do.

Why would a bishop or priest deny Baptism to someone asking for it?
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« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2011, 11:34:26 AM »

Quote
If it's any consolation Fr Seraphim Rose was baptized Methodist as a teenager of 14 and then later he was received into Orthodoxy by Chrismation.

And the holy new Martyr Saint Elizabeth was a Lutheran and she was received by Chrismation.
That is a great consolation, I have a special affinity towards both of those holy people, thank you father!

But if Athos and the Patriarchate of Jerusalem do not allow communion unless baptized Orthodox, isn't that a sort of void for those who weren't cradle or "re"-baptized? I would love to visit both someday, and have even considered becoming a monastic, and it would be unfortunate if I couldn't take communion or go beyond the narthex of the churches, etc.
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« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2011, 12:26:33 PM »

Hello all, I was chrismated into the Orthodox Church from the Methodist Church over a year ago, and I still wish that I had been baptized. I always viewed chrismation-only into Orthodoxy as not something favorable, and this was only reinforced upon me reading that St. Cyprian always "re"-baptized those who were baptized by heretics. Is there an explanation for our current "chrismation-only" procedure?
I am in a smimilar situation except that i have not been recieved into the church yet. I know that I will probably be recieved by chrismation when that time comes but I still hope that I can somehow convince the priest to baptize me.  Smiley
Why? Why not just submit to being received the way your priest and your bishop wish to receive you?

It is not that I will not accept chrismation, believe me I will. It is just that I would prefer getting baptized. Besides as Irish Hermit wrote there are certain places in the world where I will not be permitted to recieve communion if I am not baptized. But if it is the bishops wish that I should be recieved by chrismation only I will accept that.



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« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2011, 01:34:48 PM »

Ups, sorry I must have placed my responce the wrong place Cheesy
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« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2011, 02:03:19 PM »

But if Athos and the Patriarchate of Jerusalem do not allow communion unless baptized Orthodox, isn't that a sort of void for those who weren't cradle or "re"-baptized?

You have to remember that the Orthodox are one Church, except when they're not. When they're not, you just have to live with it. So, let's say that your bishop INSISTS that you not be baptized. In that case you're screwed. But that's part of the struggle to be Orthodox.  police
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« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2011, 03:22:37 PM »

ive heard that Athos will baptize people after chrismation, but ive never heard that they will refuse you communion unless youre baptized. i really think that is incorrect information, but i could be wrong ...
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« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2011, 03:25:26 PM »

ive heard that Athos will baptize people after chrismation, but ive never heard that they will refuse you communion unless youre baptized. i really think that is incorrect information, but i could be wrong ...

You are wrong.
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« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2011, 03:58:00 PM »

do you know ppl that have been turned away? what is there to substantiate this claim?
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« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2011, 04:08:41 PM »

do you know ppl that have been turned away? what is there to substantiate this claim?

Just the words of people on the internet. You can go to Mount Athos and ask if you want, though. police
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« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2011, 04:21:21 PM »

haha well im actually going in early June. if it comes to mind I will ask.
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« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2011, 04:58:55 PM »

I believe Cyprian was right on many things including all the mysteries.

He believed in re-baptism or aka Anabaptist aka re-baptize.

His life was amazing, and one which I admire.  Here is one of his quotes that is my favorite.

"The one peaceful and trustworthy tranquility, the one security that is solid, firm, and never changing, is this: for a man to withdraw from the distractions of this world, anchor himself to the firm ground of salvation, and lift his eyes from Earth to Heaven.... He who is actually greater than the world can crave nothing, can desire nothing, from this world.  How stable, how unshakeable is that safeguard, how heavenly is the protection in its neverending blessings - to be free from the snares of this entangling world, to be purged from the dregs of Earth, and fitted for the light of eternal immortality."

- Cyprian (208 AD - 258 AD) Bishop of Carthage
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« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2011, 06:22:21 PM »

I believe Cyprian was right on many things including all the mysteries.
Why do you believe this?
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« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2011, 06:46:02 PM »

As far as I was taught St Cyprian's stance is the Church's stance. I know Fr Ambrose, whom I greatly respect, says the Russian's recognize RC sacraments but I have not seen any actual local council say this. Perhaps he has access to this though I don't see how the Russian Church can hold a local council that goes against the Councils of Carthage a 1000+ years earlier, as well as the Fathers (Ss.Cyprian and Basil both come to mind) which as far as I know became the accepted stance of the Church. My understanding is that the Russian Church has not ruled out any sacraments in any protestant church either should we assume they are valid as well? How is this different from the branch theory and baptismal theology? I was taught there are No Sacraments or Apostolic Succession outside of the Church so that will continue to be my position. I understand if some disagree. I would think that this issue as well as other should take precedence over the diptychs at any council.
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« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2011, 04:48:08 AM »

As far as I was taught St Cyprian's stance is the Church's stance.
How is it the Church's stance when two of the most notable bishops of the united Church of the third century couldn't agree as to what the Church believed then? It seems to me that St. Cyprian's position is more the Eastern position which the Orthodox Church inherited as the Eastern Church and that this position became the "Church" position only after Rome went her way and took the West with her.
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« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2011, 07:42:52 AM »

I am pretty sure St Cyprian wasn't an Eastern Bishop he was a Western one. So you have Cyprian arguing against the Bishop of Rome. And then you have other fathers agreeing with Cyprian. Stephen is not a Father of the Church. I know of no Father that supports Stephen if anyone does I would have to take that into consideration.

If we accept RC sacraments then we will accept protestant ones as well. Maybe that is a good thing maybe not. But until I see a council that disagrees with Ss Cyprian and Basil I will stick with what I was taught.

I guess it would be helpful if I knew why  you think we should recognize sacraments of other groups or how there can be sacraments outside of the Church. I am not trying to be argumentative i realize that we have 2 different points of view.

There are some very good articles on this subject on orthodoxinfo.com
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« Reply #23 on: May 23, 2011, 09:45:53 AM »

Hello all, I was chrismated into the Orthodox Church from the Methodist Church over a year ago, and I still wish that I had been baptized. I always viewed chrismation-only into Orthodoxy as not something favorable, and this was only reinforced upon me reading that St. Cyprian always "re"-baptized those who were baptized by heretics. Is there an explanation for our current "chrismation-only" procedure?


The article on the use of economia in the reception of converts, by ROCOR’s Met Anthony (Khrapovitsky), is very important for understanding this subject:

http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/khrap_econ.aspx

This article provides the proper basis for the application of economy in receiving converts.  Met Anthony made it very clear that all sacraments performed outside of the Orthodox Church are mere empty forms and devoid of grace.  However, he states that if a person previously received the correct form of baptism, they could be received into the Orthodox Church without baptism, and the previously empty form would be completed and rendered grace-filled when the person is received into the Church by another rite.  A few things need to be noted, however.  First of all, while I completely agree with Met Anthony’s position and the canonical foundation upon which his position is based, I do not know to what extent his position agrees with the historic practice of the Russian Orthodox Church.  The Russian Orthodox Church, in its service books, indicates that converts with a Trinitarian baptism are to be received by chrismation.  The canons (specifically the 7th canon of the 2nd Ecumenical Council) state that if a convert had only been previously baptized with a single emersion, they should be received into the Orthodox Church by baptism.  Following this canon, and in agreement with Met Anthony, all those who have been “baptized” as Protestants or Roman Catholics by sprinkling, pouring, or a single emersion should definitely be baptized, even if their original “baptism” was in the name of the Holy Trinity.  Also, according to Met Anthony, since apostolic succession is another essential ingredient for a valid *form* of baptism, Protestants should all be received by baptism (perhaps with the exception of Anglicans who have the form of apostolic succession). 

Another important consideration with regard to this article that one should keep in mind, is that in 1971 ROCOR adopted official policy that all converts should, as a rule, be received by baptism.  Obviously, exceptions could be made based on need – for instance, an elderly, infirm, or very obese person for whom a triple emersion would be physically impractical if not infeasible.  This was done precisely, and I think wisely, because of the constant confusion that persists even now regarding what is meant that non-Orthodox have “valid” sacraments.  Met Anthony was very clear that non-Orthodox may have “valid” sacraments in the sense of valid *form*, though the forms are empty of sacramental grace.  Today, people who are received without baptism often say “my baptism was accepted”, or “I was told I had a valid baptism”, and they take this to mean that their first “baptism” was grace-filled and a true baptism in every way.  This idea that non-Orthodox have grace-filled sacraments is extremely problematic, if not heretical. 


Hello all, I was chrismated into the Orthodox Church from the Methodist Church over a year ago, and I still wish that I had been baptized. I always viewed chrismation-only into Orthodoxy as not something favorable, and this was only reinforced upon me reading that St. Cyprian always "re"-baptized those who were baptized by heretics. Is there an explanation for our current "chrismation-only" procedure?
I am in a smimilar situation except that i have not been recieved into the church yet. I know that I will probably be recieved by chrismation when that time comes but I still hope that I can somehow convince the priest to baptize me.  Smiley
Why? Why not just submit to being received the way your priest and your bishop wish to receive you?

Priests will tell us that people converting who strongly desire Baptism but are only chrismated by the receiving priest may find the wish that they had been baptized will not leave them.  It lives in their souls and niggles away at them.  Some of these people will visit Jerusalem where the priests will baptize those Orthodox not received by Baptism.   Or the Holy Mountain where the monks will refuse communion unless you are baptized, or even some of the Russian monasteries which will also not give communion to those who have not had an Orthodox baptism.   So the person, encountering this in Jerusalem or Athos or Russia will agree to Baptism.   

My personal opinion is that these Baptisms, sometime years after reception into Orthodoxy, should not take place but the fact is that they do.


In our case, we were first received into the Church through a jurisdiction where chrismation of Protestant converts is the norm.  However, we wrote to our bishop requesting baptism and our bishop gave his blessing.  I am very thankful that we were received by baptism, however I have known a number of people who were received into the Orthodox Church without baptism, for whom this became a major struggle and constant concern for them.  Regardless of the explanations given to them by their priests and bishop as to why converts can or should be received without baptism, people sometimes simply cannot come to terms with the fact that they were not baptized.  I know a few such people who left the Orthodox jurisdiction where they had been received and joined one of the Greek Old Calendarist groups specifically because the latter would agree to baptize these people.  Some of these eventually returned back into communion with the rest of the Orthodox Church, but some have remained with the Greek Old Calendarists mostly because of this one issue. 

I think a person should do all that they can to be received into the Orthodox Church by baptism.  The baptismal service itself is extremely meaningful, and in being baptized one comes to a more complete understanding of the significance of their entry into the Orthodox Church.  Also, while the explanation Met Anthony gives for receiving converts by chrismation may make sense at a certain level (previously administered empty forms are filled with grace), converts and non-Orthodox continue to be misled about the meaning of “validity” when baptism is not required.  Requiring baptism is extremely important for helping converts and non-Orthodox to understand Orthodox ecclesiology.  The ecclesiological confusion that persists today, and the confusion as to what the Orthodox Church thinks of non-Orthodox churches, is largely perpetuated by this practice of receiving converts without baptism.  Some spiritual fathers of the Athonite tradition will also say that a person is more completely transformed through an Orthodox baptism than is the case simply through chrismation, though I realize this is controversial. 

As to one’s ability to receive the mysteries in the Holy Land or on Mt. Athos without baptism, and regarding corrective baptism, I do know one man who went to the Holy Land many years after his Orthodox chrismation and was baptized in the Jordan specifically because he could not receive mysteries in the Holy Land without an Orthodox baptism.  I have heard that on Mt Athos there is a similar understanding about the need for an Orthodox baptism, but I will say that I know one Greek Old Calendarist priest who was chrismated by the Antiochians and later went to Mt. Athos to get a “corrective baptism”, yet on Mt. Athos his request was refused.  Of course, he eventually left the Antiochians to find a group that would baptize him, and today he is a Greek Old Calendarist priest.  There may be others who went to Mt. Athos and did successfully receive a corrective baptism upon request.  I’m not sure if some monasteries will do it and others will not, but the corrective baptism of an Orthodox Christian who has been receiving the mysteries for years after his chrismation is obviously controversial. 

I do not mention cases where people have broken communion with “World Orthodoxy” to join the Greek Old Calendarists in order to encourage such a step, but rather to say that I do think it very important that a person is received by baptism so as to prevent the nagging concern that may lead a person to leave “World Orthodoxy” altogether.     

     
I am pretty sure St Cyprian wasn't an Eastern Bishop he was a Western one.

St. Cyprian was the bishop of Carthage, located in northern Africa. 
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« Reply #24 on: May 23, 2011, 11:29:02 AM »

To say that 'St. Cyprian's stance is the stance of the Church' is so simplified as to be misleading, particularly given that there are multiple canons from the Ecumenical Councils stating that some heretics (including even *Arians*) are to be received with chrismation and others with confession. It's more accurate to state that St. Basil's stance, which encompasses St. Cyprian's but also recognizes and explains the authority of bishops to deviate from the standard rule, is the stance of the Church.

After St. Stephen initiated the baptismal controversy by threatening to cut communion with those who did not follow Rome's practice on the matter, St. Cyprian assembled a great synod of the bishops of North Africa. The synod passed a single canon--that following the received tradition, it was proper that all converts be baptized. However, St. Cyprian and the synod added an important caveat in the text of the canon itself--that they did *not* cut communion with those who disagreed with them. IOW, while St. Cyprian thought St. Stephen was wrong, he remained in communion not only with St. Stephen but with those converts whom Rome had received through chrismation. St. Stephen was then martyred (which is why he deserves recognition of his sainthood whatever we think of his position in the controversy); his successor continued the standing practice of Rome but dropped St. Stephen's attempt to force it on other churches. When St. Cyprian's canon was acknowledged by the 6th Ecumenical Council, they did so with the specific wording that it was kept 'only in the country of the aforesaid bishops' [i.e., Carthage].

The same council also adopted, without caveat, St. Basil's First Canonical letter. St. Basil agreed with St. Cyprian that 'strictly speaking' all converts should be baptized. But he also stated that sometimes bishops as part of their authority to administer the household of God ('economy') could and did reconcile heretics and schismatics to the Church without requiring them to undergo Orthodox baptism. He specifically calls out one instance of a pair of bishops received (apparently along with their flocks) out of schism and states that in doing so, they had 'as it were' promulgated a 'kind of canon' recognizing (i.e., accepting) their baptism.

As for the practice of some rigorists to require (or even just to urge) Orthodox Christians who have already been received to be 're-baptized', this practice is clearly even further from the position of Sts. Cyprian and Basil than those who would not require baptism in the first place. St. Cyprian specifically stated and synodically affirmed that he did not break communion with those received without baptism. St. Basil states that if he recognizes someone as an Orthodox bishop, it necessarily follows that he accepts the decisions they have made in the reception of converts.

Then there is the letter of St. Dionysius of Alexandria--St. Dionysius was a contemporary of St. Cyprian and a supporter of his position in the controversy with St. Stephen. But Eusebius records a letter by St. Dionysius in which he describes what happened when, following a baptism, a long-standing member of the flock came to him and confessed that his original baptism had not been an Orthodox baptism but rather at the hands of heretics. The laymen begged St. Dionysius for baptism, but "I could not presume to do this; I told him that his prolonged communion with us made it unnecessary. He had listened to the Eucharistic prayers ... partaking of the body and blood of our Lord. I could not presume to rebuild him from the foundations. So I urged him to put his fears away, and with strong fatih and confident hope to come forward and partake of the holy things."
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Faith: Orthodox, Anabaptist, Other Early Christianity kind of jumbled together
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A pulling horse cannot kick.


« Reply #25 on: May 23, 2011, 11:33:51 AM »

I always find it amazing how people who were on this Earth nearly 1800 years ago... Yes - ONE THOUSAND eight hundred years.... Are still debate over.

St. Cyprian is a "church father".  I personally find his writings to be very inspirational to Christianity.  They are extremely deep.

That said, I also find the writings of Origen fascinating.  I do like how Cyprian made things seem more practical and not so mysterious, as well as Origen.
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