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Author Topic: Can I still be baptized if I am told I don't need to be?  (Read 1411 times) Average Rating: 0
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Anastasia1
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« on: May 22, 2011, 09:03:59 PM »

I am told by my church leadership at an Armenian church that I don't need to be baptized again, just charismated. Can I still ask to be baptized? That way, I could receive communion if I travel somewhere where there is not Armenian Orthodox but there is still another OO church.
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« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2011, 12:03:11 AM »

I am told by my church leadership at an Armenian church that I don't need to be baptized again, just charismated. Can I still ask to be baptized? That way, I could receive communion if I travel somewhere where there is not Armenian Orthodox but there is still another OO church.

Once received into your church, no matter how you are received, you are a full member of that church and every church in communion with that church. I, as a communing member of my church, would be offended if I went to another church in communion with my own and was told that I needed to be baptized because I had been received by chrismation.
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And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

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« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2011, 12:23:08 AM »

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that if the priest at your Armenian church says it is ok to be chrismated then he is following his bishop's instructions on how to receive you into the church.  The bishop you are attached to is your chief priest so he has the final say on things of this nature.  So the parish priest has either; a) has evaluated your situation and has determined to receive you as his/your bishop directs in such situations b) actually talked to the bishop and has received his instructions first hand.  So I'd feel pretty comfortable about how the priest wants to receive you into the church, he is directed to follow his bishop and to act on behalf of that bishop. 
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« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2011, 12:24:36 AM »

Follow the bishop in all things but heresy.
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« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2011, 08:11:13 PM »

I heard you can't have communion in a Coptic church unless you were baptized Orthodox.
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« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2011, 08:28:07 PM »

If you are chrismated in the Armenian Church and commune there, the Copts will not turn you away.
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« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2011, 08:34:04 PM »

If you are chrismated in the Armenian Church and commune there, the Copts will not turn you away.
Sweet!  Grin
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« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2011, 09:55:46 AM »

I just traveled across the country to get baptised after they tried to Chrismate me, even though I was formerly a Southern Baptist, was only immersed once, and in the name of Christ, not the Trinity.

Sorry, but obedience to the Fathers comes before obedience to a Bishop.
Especially since obedience to Bishops in the past had led people into Iconoclasm and all sorts of other heresies.

Never really understood the push to Chrismate on a widespread basis.
You'd think that, coming into what a convert should view as the one and only True Church, they'd wish, and the priests and bishops would wish them to, cast off everything and become a new creation in Christ.
Accepting that a sacrament taken in the former life is in some way valid, boggles me.

Thank God for Elder Ephraim.
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« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2011, 12:38:24 PM »

Thank God for Elder Ephraim.

It's not as straightforward as Fr Ephraim presents...

Our holy Father Mark of Ephesus was emphatic: 

"Latins must not be re-baptized but only after their renunciation of their
heresies and confession of sins, be anointed with Chrism and admit them to
the Holy Mysteries and in this way bring them into communion with the holy,
catholic Eastern Church..."

See mesage 225
ae
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,22406.msg342749.html#msg342749
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« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2011, 01:01:24 PM »

Thank God for Elder Ephraim.

It's not as straightforward as Fr Ephraim presents...

Our holy Father Mark of Ephesus was emphatic: 

"Latins must not be re-baptized but only after their renunciation of their
heresies and confession of sins, be anointed with Chrism and admit them to
the Holy Mysteries and in this way bring them into communion with the holy,
catholic Eastern Church..."

See mesage 225
ae
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,22406.msg342749.html#msg342749


Because Catholic theology has changed so very little since the days of St. Mark of Ephesus, right?

Catholicism has veered so far astray that at present Orthodoxy has more in common with the Sufis of Islam than we do with the schismatic Vatican.
That quote was written at a time when there was still some common ground between the Catholics and Orthodox with which to build upon.
Today, the very Christ of which they speak is a separate Christ from which the True Church knows.
The doctrine of Salvation that they hold is completely separate from reality.

By their modifications to the theology that was once entrusted to them, they have separated themselves from even the minuscule grace that still existed in them by once being part of the True Church.

They don't even know who Christ is, how can anyone support their being denied Baptism today?


And it's Elder Ephraim. One would not refer to Elder Joseph as Fr. Joseph, or Elder Porphyrios as Fr. Porphyrios.
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« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2011, 01:41:30 PM »

I think this is an interesting debate, but allow me to present what I've seen from your perspective, Eykos:

Sorry, but obedience to the Fathers comes before obedience to a Bishop.
Theoretically a reasonable statement, although Bishops are typically thought to have a better understanding of the Holy Fathers, Canons, etc., hence the whole Apostolic nature of the Church.

Then, you were presented with a quote from a Holy Father:
Our holy Father Mark of Ephesus was emphatic: 

"Latins must not be re-baptized but only after their renunciation of their
heresies and confession of sins, be anointed with Chrism and admit them to
the Holy Mysteries and in this way bring them into communion with the holy,
catholic Eastern Church..."

Then, you dismissed this quote from the Holy Father as being antiquated, and proceeded to present your opinion of Roman Catholic faith and made the determination yourself that this Patristic quote was no longer applicable:

Because Catholic theology has changed so very little since the days of St. Mark of Ephesus, right?

Catholicism has veered so far astray that at present Orthodoxy has more in common with the Sufis of Islam than we do with the schismatic Vatican.
That quote was written at a time when there was still some common ground between the Catholics and Orthodox with which to build upon.
Today, the very Christ of which they speak is a separate Christ from which the True Church knows.
The doctrine of Salvation that they hold is completely separate from reality.

Are you following the Holy Fathers or your personal interpretation of what you believe to be right?  I'm not implying that there is a simple answer to that or the overall question regarding Baptism v Chrismation, but it appears to this objective observer that you have not fully shaken some of your Protestant underpinnings.  Forgive me if my assessment is flawed or perceived as overly harsh.
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« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2011, 02:26:20 PM »

Short answer: you could but it won't work.
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« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2011, 03:43:09 PM »

I just traveled across the country to get baptised after they tried to Chrismate me, even though I was formerly a Southern Baptist, was only immersed once, and in the name of Christ, not the Trinity.

Sorry, but obedience to the Fathers comes before obedience to a Bishop.
Especially since obedience to Bishops in the past had led people into Iconoclasm and all sorts of other heresies.

Never really understood the push to Chrismate on a widespread basis.
You'd think that, coming into what a convert should view as the one and only True Church, they'd wish, and the priests and bishops would wish them to, cast off everything and become a new creation in Christ.
Accepting that a sacrament taken in the former life is in some way valid, boggles me.

Thank God for Elder Ephraim.

I am the sort of person who would prefer to see converts received by Holy Baptism, but you seem to be unaware that former adherents of heretical and schismatic sects have been received into the Church by Chrismation since the days of the Early Fathers.  Look in the Rudder and see how Arians were received into the Church, for example.

Your bishop should have been prepared to receive you by baptism if there was no way to prove your prior baptism was in the name of the Trinity, I will grant you that much.  But the key to the Christian life is obedience, and defying your bishop should not be something you discuss so flippantly.
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« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2011, 04:29:22 PM »

I think this is an interesting debate, but allow me to present what I've seen from your perspective, Eykos:

Sorry, but obedience to the Fathers comes before obedience to a Bishop.
Theoretically a reasonable statement, although Bishops are typically thought to have a better understanding of the Holy Fathers, Canons, etc., hence the whole Apostolic nature of the Church.

Then, you were presented with a quote from a Holy Father:
Our holy Father Mark of Ephesus was emphatic:  

"Latins must not be re-baptized but only after their renunciation of their
heresies and confession of sins, be anointed with Chrism and admit them to
the Holy Mysteries and in this way bring them into communion with the holy,
catholic Eastern Church..."

Then, you dismissed this quote from the Holy Father as being antiquated, and proceeded to present your opinion of Roman Catholic faith and made the determination yourself that this Patristic quote was no longer applicable:

Because Catholic theology has changed so very little since the days of St. Mark of Ephesus, right?

Catholicism has veered so far astray that at present Orthodoxy has more in common with the Sufis of Islam than we do with the schismatic Vatican.
That quote was written at a time when there was still some common ground between the Catholics and Orthodox with which to build upon.
Today, the very Christ of which they speak is a separate Christ from which the True Church knows.
The doctrine of Salvation that they hold is completely separate from reality.

Are you following the Holy Fathers or your personal interpretation of what you believe to be right?  I'm not implying that there is a simple answer to that or the overall question regarding Baptism v Chrismation, but it appears to this objective observer that you have not fully shaken some of your Protestant underpinnings.  Forgive me if my assessment is flawed or perceived as overly harsh.

I'm taking the words of Elder Ephraim (Who I've met personally, who gave me the blessing to be baptised, and is responsible for me being Orthodox in the first place and who I consider to be a Saint) and Elder Joseph (Who most of the Holy Mountain considers to be a Saint).

It appears that you're objective observation is a cop out.
I'm not saying I'm a theologian, or that my word is worth crap, but I've spent more time in monasteries than outside of them since becoming Orthodox (I'm writing this from one right now), and I much prefer taking the word of honest monks (Especially on Athos) on these matters over anyone else.
They've given up everything. They've got nothing to gain by being dishonest in their teachings.

Why don't you tell me, in what way has the Vatican kept true to the doctrines of the Church?
Could it be the the change in the way of Immaculate Conception?
Their complete rewriting of Salvation in the language of Atonement, completely changing the mission of Christ on Earth, therefore changing their perception of Christ himself?
How about the 1860 bombshell of "Papal Infallibility"?
Maybe they kept true to the Church by their insistence on overly rationalizing the faith, on trying to compromise with the times in light of current "scientific progress"?
Maybe it's their trying to wrap theology around the possible existence of "Alien Lifeforms".
Maybe they kept honest to the Church when they sacked Constantinople, sat a prostitute on the altar of Hagia Sophia, cut St. Peter the Aleut apart bit by bit, or supported the NATO bombing campaign against Orthodox in the Balkans?
Maybe their insistence on opening Uniate churches all over the place.
 Maybe it's the doctrine that sin is a crime to be punished.
Or how they constantly replace old canons with new ones, looking to the present for their theological backbone instead of the past, ignoring the very thing which made them "almost" Orthodox in the first place.
Or perhaps it's how they are legalistic, overly intellectual, and overly arrogant in their approach to Orthodoxy, which, as a Church, and in reality, is their superior.


Maybe I stepped on toes earlier by saying we have more in common with the Sufis than the Catholics.
I'll take that back.
I'll say rather, that as far as I'm concerned, the Catholics are about on the same page as the Mormons.
Its not a "Church", because there is only one "Church".

If the Catholics had the doctrine that they had today in the days of St. Mark of Ephesus, he would have denounced them as heretics.
I know this, because the Orientals were treated as such in the language of the Fathers, and they are FAR closer to us in doctrine than the Catholics.
Heck, the Arians were closer to us in doctrine than the modern Catholics.


There is nothing left in the Catholic church which the Orthodox Church can still say is "legitimate".
Even their monks are cloistered bookworms. No concept of theosis, no concept of hesychasm.

Their baptisms are not "baptisms", they are sprinklings of water. (Another "new" development not seen in St. Mark's day)
How exactly do you reconcile that to St. Athanasius's words on rebaptising those who have not been immersed?


Answer the questions, and leave the "Oh noes, you're a convert" mess at the door.
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Anastasia1
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« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2011, 05:12:11 PM »

Short answer: you could but it won't work.

Why not?
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« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2011, 05:35:27 PM »

Your bishop should have been prepared to receive you by baptism if there was no way to prove your prior baptism was in the name of the Trinity, I will grant you that much.  But the key to the Christian life is obedience, and defying your bishop should not be something you discuss so flippantly.

A sensible and orthodox (note small-o) response.
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« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2011, 05:39:35 PM »

Eykos,
Thanks for so humbly presenting us with your monastic and VIP credentials.

I think you missed the entirety of my point, which is probably my fault.  So, I think I'll conveniently skip your demand to answer your questions.  I actually have very little problem with your interpretation of the Roman Catholic faith's errors, your Sufi comment, nor with your subsequent explanation of those.

Additionally, I tend to agree that Baptisms should be performed in many cases in which they currently are not.

I'm admittedly very new to submitting my personal understandings and interpretations to the teachings of the Church.  I'm confident you know far more about Orthodox Christianity, and that you have received far more spiritual guidance than I have.  That said, I stand by my comment (possibly wrong, but perhaps more objective than you initially thought) that you appear to be very convinced of your views.  Whether you have sought out guidance that reflects your beliefs, I don't know. 

My point was that it is not always for us to decide whether we need to receive baptism, whether my baptism is full immersion, etc.  While Bishops may not always be right, there is a reason we have them.  Obviously, you made the decision to seek guidance and baptism elsewhere, but I don't think that's always a good idea or great advice.

I genuinely appreciate our monastic tradition and their continuous contribution to the faith, but a monk's teaching shouldn't necessarily be valued over a bishop's, just because.  I think Orual summed up the point a lot better than I did when he wrote:
But the key to the Christian life is obedience, and defying your bishop should not be something you discuss so flippantly.

You being a convert doesn't seem to be the issue. 

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« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2011, 05:43:55 PM »

Eykos,
Thanks for so humbly presenting us with your monastic and VIP credentials.

I think you missed the entirety of my point, which is probably my fault.  So, I think I'll conveniently skip your demand to answer your questions.  I actually have very little problem with your interpretation of the Roman Catholic faith's errors, your Sufi comment, nor with your subsequent explanation of those.

Additionally, I tend to agree that Baptisms should be performed in many cases in which they currently are not.

I'm admittedly very new to submitting my personal understandings and interpretations to the teachings of the Church.  I'm confident you know far more about Orthodox Christianity, and that you have received far more spiritual guidance than I have.  That said, I stand by my comment (possibly wrong, but perhaps more objective than you initially thought) that you appear to be very convinced of your views.  Whether you have sought out guidance that reflects your beliefs, I don't know.  

My point was that it is not always for us to decide whether we need to receive baptism, whether my baptism is full immersion, etc.  While Bishops may not always be right, there is a reason we have them.  Obviously, you made the decision to seek guidance and baptism elsewhere, but I don't think that's always a good idea or great advice.

I genuinely appreciate our monastic tradition and their continuous contribution to the faith, but a monk's teaching shouldn't necessarily be valued over a bishop's, just because.  I think Orual summed up the point a lot better than I did when he wrote:
But the key to the Christian life is obedience, and defying your bishop should not be something you discuss so flippantly.

You being a convert doesn't seem to be the issue.  




You were the one questioning my Orthodox credentials, so given that, I'll just answer "You're Welcome".

And for the record, I was baptised "Baptist" as a child, and had only been to Church once or twice. I was an atheist before I was Orthodox.
Clean slate, so the "Protestant" tag that I've seen SO many tagged with in order to dismiss them doesn't stick.

And what's with the faux-humility line?
I've been told by many priests that saying "You obviously know more than me" is a good "Pious shutdown" in an argument.

I'm not bragging about my "credentials". You were fishing for a reason to dismiss me. I denied you that.
Carry on with the discussion, I never tried to "dismiss" you.



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« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2011, 05:55:35 PM »

You were the one questioning my Orthodox credentials...
Wrong.  I was questioning your flippant dismissal of your bishop's guidance and insisting on your own interpretation. 

Quote
And for the record, I was baptised "Baptist" as a child, and had only been to Church once or twice. I was an atheist before I was Orthodox.
Clean slate, so the "Protestant" tag that I've seen SO many tagged with in order to dismiss them doesn't stick.

Okay, so the "Protestant tag" was wrong, but coming from a secular, questioning background myself, I don't think the spirit of it was that far off.  Welcome aboard.
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« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2011, 07:03:21 PM »

And for the record, I was baptised "Baptist" as a child, and had only been to Church once or twice. I was an atheist before I was Orthodox.
Clean slate, so the "Protestant" tag that I've seen SO many tagged with in order to dismiss them doesn't stick.

Protestantism happens to be dominant in the Anglosphere. I have only been in a Protestant church twice, and I still struggle with thinking like a Protestant--even after a few years of being Orthodox. Just because you have never been a member of a Protestant church, doesn't mean you have escaped how they think. It is a dominant part of the culture that those in the Anglosphere will come into contact with.

Quote
I'm not bragging about my "credentials". You were fishing for a reason to dismiss me. I denied you that.
Carry on with the discussion, I never tried to "dismiss" you.

You appealed to authority. The little line about spending more time in a monastery than outside since your reception in the Church was a nice touch, I admit.
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« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2011, 07:44:53 PM »

And for the record, I was baptised "Baptist" as a child, and had only been to Church once or twice. I was an atheist before I was Orthodox.
Clean slate, so the "Protestant" tag that I've seen SO many tagged with in order to dismiss them doesn't stick.

Protestantism happens to be dominant in the Anglosphere. I have only been in a Protestant church twice, and I still struggle with thinking like a Protestant--even after a few years of being Orthodox. Just because you have never been a member of a Protestant church, doesn't mean you have escaped how they think. It is a dominant part of the culture that those in the Anglosphere will come into contact with.

Quote
I'm not bragging about my "credentials". You were fishing for a reason to dismiss me. I denied you that.
Carry on with the discussion, I never tried to "dismiss" you.

You appealed to authority. The little line about spending more time in a monastery than outside since your reception in the Church was a nice touch, I admit.


And you finding a way to lose all credibility you had in this discussion in one go was a nice touch as well.
Accusing someone of having "Convert Sickness" is like a black man accusing someone of being a "Racist".

"You're a racist!"
"Am not."
"Of course a racist would say that!"
"You're slandering me!"
"You're just saying that because I'm black. Racist.'
"I'm not a racist!"
"Prove it!"
"I've got black friends!"
"Every racist says that!"
"Arrrrggghhh!"
"Now you're getting violent, just like a proper racist."
"...."




All credibility. Gone.
Good job.
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« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2011, 07:49:37 PM »

I would be baptized if at all possible. I was chrismated into the Church from Methodism and I still wish that I had been baptized, I don't feel like I have adhered to the fathers in being only chrismated, when St. Cyprian explicitly commands that heretics must be "re"-baptized.
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« Reply #22 on: May 29, 2011, 08:11:01 PM »

I would be baptized if at all possible. I was chrismated into the Church from Methodism and I still wish that I had been baptized, I don't feel like I have adhered to the fathers in being only chrismated, when St. Cyprian explicitly commands that heretics must be "re"-baptized.

Glory to God.
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« Reply #23 on: May 29, 2011, 11:00:39 PM »

.....I've spent more time in monasteries than outside of them since becoming Orthodox (I'm writing this from one right now), and I much prefer taking the word of honest monks (Especially on Athos) on these matters over anyone else.

They've given up everything. They've got nothing to gain by being dishonest in their teachings.




I am glad you find Father Ephraim and his monks honest.  I have had my doubts about it, in light of his joining the Russian Church Abroad and then hightailing it back to the Ecumenical Patriarch when the Ecumenical Patriarch threatened him.  That has always seemed unprincipled and timorous to me.    I have also wondered about the honesty of his monks because I know in the States the Greek bishops have forbidden them to baptize some converts and to get around that they secretly send these converts to other Churches which will baptize them.  Of course they don't actually join these other Churches, they just make use of them.  Again, it appears unprincipled.
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« Reply #24 on: May 29, 2011, 11:33:18 PM »

.....I've spent more time in monasteries than outside of them since becoming Orthodox (I'm writing this from one right now), and I much prefer taking the word of honest monks (Especially on Athos) on these matters over anyone else.

They've given up everything. They've got nothing to gain by being dishonest in their teachings.




I am glad you find Father Ephraim and his monks honest.  I have had my doubts about it, in light of his joining the Russian Church Abroad and then hightailing it back to the Ecumenical Patriarch when the Ecumenical Patriarch threatened him.  That has always seemed unprincipled and timorous to me.    I have also wondered about the honesty of his monks because I know in the States the Greek bishops have forbidden them to baptize some converts and to get around that they secretly send these converts to other Churches which will baptize them.  Of course they don't actually join these other Churches, they just make use of them.  Again, it appears unprincipled.

I can speak from experience that that is not how they operate.
Personal experience. I was baptized at St. Anthony's.

I do wish that people who had beef with him would go, sit down, and talk to him.
The man has so much grace about him that you come out of the room with a headrush and blisters on your hands from your komboskini.


P.S. He went back on request from the Holy Mountain, not the Patriarch.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2011, 11:36:02 PM by Eykos » Logged
Eykos
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« Reply #25 on: May 29, 2011, 11:41:34 PM »

To the OP.

Yes. You can.
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