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Author Topic: Protestants & Baptism  (Read 1297 times) Average Rating: 0
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JamesR
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« on: October 08, 2012, 06:57:36 PM »

One of my Protestant friends just announced his Baptism on Facebook the other night and it got me wondering, is the Protestant sacrament (even if they don't view it sacramentally) valid/does it contain sacramental grace? I know that in Orthodoxy we will usually accept that as valid if it was Trinitarian, but what about the fact that no Protestants other than the Lutherans (who can claim apostolic succession from the RC Church) have any Apostolic succession at all? Wouldn't it mean then that the grace and authority that Jesus bestowed upon His apostles to perform the sacraments which was later continued by the Bishops they appointed and further continues throughout the Orthodox and RC clergy would not be found among Protestants? (except arguably Lutherans) and thus, their Baptism would not be valid since the person who Baptised them had to Apostolic grace? Going even further, some Protestant circles will not even have a minister baptize them but will just have a friend or family member baptize them inside of a swimming pool or with a spray-bottle or some other odd tradition.

Thoughts?
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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2012, 07:05:47 PM »

The whole notion of "valid" sacraments is an Augustinian idea that has no real place within Orthodox Tradition.
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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2012, 09:36:53 PM »

The whole notion of "valid" sacraments is an Augustinian idea that has no real place within Orthodox Tradition.

So they are always invalid?  Roll Eyes

There is no way not to have a concept of validity, unless there is no formula for how to do it. If some people can be ministers, and others cannot, then there is a concept of validity. If it matters what material means are used, if for instance one may not have communion with cookies and milk, then there is a concept of validity. If it matters what words are used, then there is a concept of validity. Perhaps it is the case that the Orthodox have not spent as much effort on mapping out the precise line between what is thought effective and what is not, but people here talk about what is valid all the time.
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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2012, 09:53:43 PM »

The whole notion of "valid" sacraments is an Augustinian idea that has no real place within Orthodox Tradition.

Are you referring instead to the notion of "valid vs. licit" that is found in Roman Catholic thought?
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« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2012, 10:38:52 PM »

The whole notion of "valid" sacraments is an Augustinian idea that has no real place within Orthodox Tradition.

Exactly.

Outside of the Orthodox Church, there can exist the form of a sacrament, but it has no sacramental grace. It may, however, if I may wax scholastically here for a moment, bring a kind of incidental grace to a person outside the Church for the ultimate purpose of salvation since God desires the salvation of all, and their enlightenment with the truth, but all grace comes from the Orthodox Church, which is an overflowing fountain of blessing for the world in many seen and unseen ways.
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« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2012, 12:37:30 AM »

One of my Protestant friends just announced his Baptism on Facebook the other night and it got me wondering, is the Protestant sacrament (even if they don't view it sacramentally) valid/does it contain sacramental grace? I know that in Orthodoxy we will usually accept that as valid if it was Trinitarian, but what about the fact that no Protestants other than the Lutherans (who can claim apostolic succession from the RC Church) have any Apostolic succession at all? Wouldn't it mean then that the grace and authority that Jesus bestowed upon His apostles to perform the sacraments which was later continued by the Bishops they appointed and further continues throughout the Orthodox and RC clergy would not be found among Protestants? (except arguably Lutherans) and thus, their Baptism would not be valid since the person who Baptised them had to Apostolic grace? Going even further, some Protestant circles will not even have a minister baptize them but will just have a friend or family member baptize them inside of a swimming pool or with a spray-bottle or some other odd tradition.

Thoughts?

Spray bottle? I've seen a lot of Protestant abuses, but never this.

I dunno if I would laugh or cry.
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« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2012, 12:48:00 AM »

First of all, Anglicans also claim Apostolic Succession, and until they started ordaining women to the episcopate, probably had as good a claim as the best Lutheran one.

Second of all, any baptized person can baptize. So while the Protestants do not have a valid priesthood (and most don't have any concept of the priesthood), most of them do have a succession of baptism by baptized persons, through the RC church, down to the present day.
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« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2012, 02:14:41 AM »

My priest told me as long as one is submerged under water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, it's good.
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« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2012, 07:29:07 AM »

Seventh Council of Carthage:

"I decide, that every man who comes to us from heresy must be baptized. For in vain does he think that he has been baptized there, seeing that there is no baptism save the one and true baptism in the Church; because not only is God one, but the faith is one, and the Church is one, wherein stands the one baptism, and holiness, and the rest. For whatever is done without, has no effect of salvation."

So, yeah...

 Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2012, 10:58:47 AM »

Seventh Council of Carthage:

"I decide, that every man who comes to us from heresy must be baptized. For in vain does he think that he has been baptized there, seeing that there is no baptism save the one and true baptism in the Church; because not only is God one, but the faith is one, and the Church is one, wherein stands the one baptism, and holiness, and the rest. For whatever is done without, has no effect of salvation."

So, yeah...

 Smiley
What about the fact that the decision of this Council of Carthage contradicted what was understood to be the apostolic practice received in Rome?
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« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2012, 11:56:27 AM »

Seventh Council of Carthage:

"I decide, that every man who comes to us from heresy must be baptized. For in vain does he think that he has been baptized there, seeing that there is no baptism save the one and true baptism in the Church; because not only is God one, but the faith is one, and the Church is one, wherein stands the one baptism, and holiness, and the rest. For whatever is done without, has no effect of salvation."

So, yeah...

 Smiley
So my Chrismation means nothing then I suppose?

PP
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« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2012, 12:57:52 PM »

Spray bottle? ... I dunno if I would laugh or cry.

Cry, I hope.
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« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2012, 10:39:54 PM »

Seventh Council of Carthage:

"I decide, that every man who comes to us from heresy must be baptized. For in vain does he think that he has been baptized there, seeing that there is no baptism save the one and true baptism in the Church; because not only is God one, but the faith is one, and the Church is one, wherein stands the one baptism, and holiness, and the rest. For whatever is done without, has no effect of salvation."

So, yeah...

 Smiley
So my Chrismation means nothing then I suppose?

PP

Why would you presume that?
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« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2012, 12:15:23 AM »

To address the OP,

In the U.S., at least, different bishops view Protestant baptism differently. Some will accept any trinitarian baptism by water. Others a bit choosier, accepting more sacramental-leaning Protestants (Anglicans, Methodists, sometimes even conservative Presbyterians) but not the radical reformers (such as Baptists, Pentecostals...who actually come out of Methodism..., Mennonite, etc.) Others still simply don't accept Protestant baptism at all.

I think all have valid points, and there's really not been a Church council to address the reception of Protestants (like other councils defined how to accept Arians, Nestorians, Non-Chalcedonians, Novationists, Donatists, Sabellians, etc.). Until that happens, I think you'll see varying opinions on how we should receive Protestants into the Church.
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« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2012, 11:24:00 AM »

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Why would you presume that?
No no. I was saying that in light of the referenced quote. No, I know it means Im part of the Church.

PP
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« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2012, 11:38:54 AM »

I've been taught that all Trinitarian baptisms are valid in some sense. In baptism we put on Christ and I think there is notable change in baptized heterodox people.

Baptism+Chrismation is a two-part sacrament, and Protestants don't practice Chrismation. We receive the Holy Spirit in Chrismation, and while a Protestant baptism by itself may have some grace, it only finds fullness in the Church.
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« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2012, 11:46:23 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

One of my Protestant friends just announced his Baptism on Facebook the other night and it got me wondering, is the Protestant sacrament (even if they don't view it sacramentally) valid/does it contain sacramental grace? I know that in Orthodoxy we will usually accept that as valid if it was Trinitarian, but what about the fact that no Protestants other than the Lutherans (who can claim apostolic succession from the RC Church) have any Apostolic succession at all? Wouldn't it mean then that the grace and authority that Jesus bestowed upon His apostles to perform the sacraments which was later continued by the Bishops they appointed and further continues throughout the Orthodox and RC clergy would not be found among Protestants? (except arguably Lutherans) and thus, their Baptism would not be valid since the person who Baptised them had to Apostolic grace? Going even further, some Protestant circles will not even have a minister baptize them but will just have a friend or family member baptize them inside of a swimming pool or with a spray-bottle or some other odd tradition.

Thoughts?

This is specifically a legalistic issue in regards to implementations of Canons and rules.  Such matters are generally reserved for the discretion of an individual bishop.  Does Protestant Baptism contain Sacramental Grace? Probably not, but again, that is up to the responsibility of the Bishop.  If a particular Protestant coming into Orthodox so strongly feels their own Baptism was valid and Graceful, then perhaps the Bishop might acquiesce out of respect for the person, and only require Chrismation. The purpose of Baptizing converts is not to demonize Protestantism, but to dispense the Divine Mystery.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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