Author Topic: Baptism by Pouring...  (Read 1267 times)

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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Baptism by Pouring...
« Reply #45 on: July 24, 2017, 02:32:55 PM »
Based on Liza and Arachne's posts, the mystery has been solved (and the Mystery properly administered! ;)) to my satisfaction.

What do you think happened?

What Liza described in post # 26.

Sorry, but I don't buy it.  Pouring the oil into the water is part of the rite, it's not something that specifically indicates an intention to practice triple immersion baptism.  And if not wanting to get one's vestments wet is a concern, it's not like you are forced to baptise in the sea: I'm sure provision could've been made to baptise in a church.  But if you can baptise by pouring in order to protect a set of vestments from getting wet, you can baptise by pouring, period.   

I don't have an issue with Baptism by pouring under extenuating circumstances.  I have close friends who were baptized that way because their church was at that point in a rented gym.  That said, I don't find your above post compelling evidence that this particular man was baptized simply by pouring.  If the bishop was not going to baptize the man in the sea, why did he pour the oil there instead of into some other vessel?  Why consecrate the sea?  And why is the gentleman being baptized soaked to the bone (as is clear from the picture) and why is there a photo of him walking into the sea?  Like I said, I really need to see an account of what happened here from a firsthand source.  Until that time, everything anyone posts here is conjecture, likely rooted in their opinions on both the Roman Catholic Church and the subject of Baptism by pouring as anything other than an application of oikonomia.

...so, what is the real argument here?

Are we concerned that this man was not truly Baptized, because water was merely poured upon his head?

Are we concerned that this is some new modernization of the proper baptismal technique?

I think at least part of the point is to tweak the nose of those who object to the Latin practice of Baptism by pouring by pointing out that such is practiced on what would presumably be a bulwark for them: Athos.
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Offline Agabus

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Re: Baptism by Pouring...
« Reply #46 on: July 24, 2017, 02:58:33 PM »
Baptism by pouring should only be done if it's an emergency. Then afterwords when the person recovers, they should be baptized the correct way.

If they do the second, you are saying the emergency baptism wasn't a real baptism.
Like I said, pouring isn't the correct way. Though if a person is dieing it's the fastest method.

And like the Creed says, I believe in one baptism -- even if the mode isn't optimal

What Jackson is describing is a traditional (if rare) procedure in some Orthodox places, for scenarios in which a person is thought to be near death and wants to be baptized. In such cases, if pouring is all that can be managed then that's what they do. If the person afterwards recovers they are then have a 'full' baptism. Had the person died no one would have argued that the pouring baptism didn't count; if the person survived and got a baptism with dunking and all the trimmings then the response isn't that the previous baptism meant nothing. You'd have to ask the Slavs (and perhaps others) who do this kind of thing how they reconcile the practice with your (and the standard) interpretation of the creed and Scripture.

I know that it happens, but how much of it is actually traditional and how much of it is modernist kneejerk liturgical chauvinism traditional?

And maybe the followup is are we talking about 300 years traditional, 700 years traditional, 1,500 years or 2,000 years traditional? All sorts of innovation gets defended as traditional because it's happened for awhile, but we give the RCs guff for the same reasons.
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Baptism by Pouring...
« Reply #47 on: July 24, 2017, 03:01:56 PM »
I don't have an issue with Baptism by pouring under extenuating circumstances.  I have close friends who were baptized that way because their church was at that point in a rented gym.  That said, I don't find your above post compelling evidence that this particular man was baptized simply by pouring.  If the bishop was not going to baptize the man in the sea, why did he pour the oil there instead of into some other vessel?  Why consecrate the sea? 

The baptismal waters are consecrated, not the vessel in which they are contained.  It would be simple enough to scoop up some water in the bowl and pitcher depicted in the photos. 

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And why is the gentleman being baptized soaked to the bone (as is clear from the picture) and why is there a photo of him walking into the sea?


Pouring three pitchers full of water over a person will drench him.  It's still pouring.

The photo of him walking into the sea is even more ambiguous than the pouring.  What do you think it means?  I can't think of any explanation related to the baptismal rite.   

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Like I said, I really need to see an account of what happened here from a firsthand source.  Until that time, everything anyone posts here is conjecture, likely rooted in their opinions on both the Roman Catholic Church and the subject of Baptism by pouring as anything other than an application of oikonomia.

That sword cuts both ways, but it need not cut at all. 

Quote
I think at least part of the point is to tweak the nose of those who object to the Latin practice of Baptism by pouring by pointing out that such is practiced on what would presumably be a bulwark for them: Athos.

Since I started the thread, I will note that I have not raised "the Latin practice of Baptism" in any of my posts except in response to others who have done so.  There is enough pouring going on in Orthodoxy that I don't need to look West. 
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Re: Baptism by Pouring...
« Reply #48 on: July 24, 2017, 03:14:46 PM »
All opinions expressed by myself are quite tragically my own, and not those of any other poster or wall hangings.

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Baptism by Pouring...
« Reply #49 on: July 24, 2017, 03:18:30 PM »

I do agree with Mor, that if this is a new "trend"...then it IS problematic.

If the means are available, then a person ought to be submersed under water...buried, as it were, with Christ...and resurrected, clean, bright and new.

...and yet, knowing this...many EO priests prefer to just pour.  It is easier, I guess.

I've seen it done both ways...and while not the preferred way, I am certain God recognizes the poured upon individual as being baptized in His name.
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Baptism by Pouring...
« Reply #50 on: July 24, 2017, 03:41:37 PM »
The baptismal waters are consecrated, not the vessel in which they are contained.  It would be simple enough to scoop up some water in the bowl and pitcher depicted in the photos. 

We could go back-and-forth on this all day.  My guess is literally as good as yours.  You don't find my explanation of what is happening convincing - or, more accurately, Liza's explanation which I endorse - neither do I find your explanation compelling.  Like I said, it's all conjecture on both our parts, and it does seem to be colored - in both instances - by our opinions on full immersion baptism vs. baptism by pouring.  Knowing our respective stances on the RCC, I can't help but think that ties in there somewhere as well, but if you say it doesn't on your end, of course I'll take you at your word.

If, at the end of the day, it turns out that your explanation of what is occurring in the photos is the right one, I won't lose any sleep over it, and my opinions on baptism by full immersion vs. baptism by pouring will remain what they are, but for now, I need to see more evidence.

Pouring three pitchers full of water over a person will drench him.  It's still pouring.

Of course it's still pouring, if that is indeed what happened.  I'm just not convinced that it is.  Obviously, you think it is, or you wouldn't have started the thread in the way you did.

The photo of him walking into the sea is even more ambiguous than the pouring.  What do you think it means?  I can't think of any explanation related to the baptismal rite.   

Yes, it is ambiguous to allow for both Liza's explanation (that he immersed himself in the sea) and yours (that he was doing something unrelated to the rite).  You really don't need to ask me what I think it means, since I already explained to you that I accepted Liza's explanation in post # 26.  Was there anything unclear in her explanation of what she (and I) think happened there that needs fleshing out?  If so, I am happy to do so as far as my part in the conversation is concerned.

Quote
Like I said, I really need to see an account of what happened here from a firsthand source.  Until that time, everything anyone posts here is conjecture, likely rooted in their opinions on both the Roman Catholic Church and the subject of Baptism by pouring as anything other than an application of oikonomia.

That sword cuts both ways, but it need not cut at all. 

Absolutely it cuts both ways.  I think that was implicit in my statement.  I'm not sure what was intended by "it need not cut at all".  We're none of us arguing in a vacuum here.

Quote
I think at least part of the point is to tweak the nose of those who object to the Latin practice of Baptism by pouring by pointing out that such is practiced on what would presumably be a bulwark for them: Athos.

Since I started the thread, I will note that I have not raised "the Latin practice of Baptism" in any of my posts except in response to others who have done so.  There is enough pouring going on in Orthodoxy that I don't need to look West.

This doesn't mean that your opinions regarding the Catholic Church don't impact upon your position of their baptismal form, even if it also appears in Orthodoxy, but like I said, I'm perfectly willing to take you at your word if you say this is not the case.  Whatever the case may indeed be, I hope you'll at least acknowledge that the post was intended to be provocative and, as I said, tweak the nose of those who object to baptism by pouring.


I do agree with Mor, that if this is a new "trend"...then it IS problematic.

Respectfully, Liza, I don't think that you and Mor agree on whether or not baptism by pouring is problematic, but merely on the fact that it does occur within the Orthodox Church.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but Mor has stated that for him baptism by pouring is not problematic at all, even if baptism by full immersion is an option.

If the means are available, then a person ought to be submersed under water...buried, as it were, with Christ...and resurrected, clean, bright and new.

...and yet, knowing this...many EO priests prefer to just pour.  It is easier, I guess.

I've seen it done both ways...and while not the preferred way, I am certain God recognizes the poured upon individual as being baptized in His name.

Agreed.
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Baptism by Pouring...
« Reply #51 on: July 24, 2017, 03:57:21 PM »
I think the irony here is that Athos, which has held up their baptisms against baptisms in other jurisdictions as "the right way," ostensibly being caught in whatever weird variation this is. Nothing to do with RC. And I don't think I'm alone in this perception.
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Re: Baptism by Pouring...
« Reply #52 on: July 24, 2017, 04:34:11 PM »
The baptismal waters are consecrated, not the vessel in which they are contained.  It would be simple enough to scoop up some water in the bowl and pitcher depicted in the photos. 

We could go back-and-forth on this all day.  My guess is literally as good as yours.  You don't find my explanation of what is happening convincing - or, more accurately, Liza's explanation which I endorse - neither do I find your explanation compelling. 

I don't think I'm explaining, merely describing.   

Quote
Like I said, it's all conjecture on both our parts, and it does seem to be colored - in both instances - by our opinions on full immersion baptism vs. baptism by pouring.  Knowing our respective stances on the RCC, I can't help but think that ties in there somewhere as well, but if you say it doesn't on your end, of course I'll take you at your word.

That settles that, then. 

Quote
Yes, it is ambiguous to allow for both Liza's explanation (that he immersed himself in the sea) and yours (that he was doing something unrelated to the rite).  You really don't need to ask me what I think it means, since I already explained to you that I accepted Liza's explanation in post # 26.  Was there anything unclear in her explanation of what she (and I) think happened there that needs fleshing out?  If so, I am happy to do so as far as my part in the conversation is concerned.

As I understand no. 26, the explanation is basically that the bishop made up a rite in which the man immerses himself in the sea so that the bishop doesn't have to get wet, and then comes back to shore so the bishop can pour and invoke the Trinitarian formula.  That's even worse than straight pouring.

Quote
Quote
Like I said, I really need to see an account of what happened here from a firsthand source.  Until that time, everything anyone posts here is conjecture, likely rooted in their opinions on both the Roman Catholic Church and the subject of Baptism by pouring as anything other than an application of oikonomia.

That sword cuts both ways, but it need not cut at all. 

Absolutely it cuts both ways.  I think that was implicit in my statement.  I'm not sure what was intended by "it need not cut at all".  We're none of us arguing in a vacuum here.

What I meant is that this conversation can be had without reference to Roman Catholicism at all, which is in fact how I have been approaching it. 

Quote
Quote
I think at least part of the point is to tweak the nose of those who object to the Latin practice of Baptism by pouring by pointing out that such is practiced on what would presumably be a bulwark for them: Athos.

Since I started the thread, I will note that I have not raised "the Latin practice of Baptism" in any of my posts except in response to others who have done so.  There is enough pouring going on in Orthodoxy that I don't need to look West.

This doesn't mean that your opinions regarding the Catholic Church don't impact upon your position of their baptismal form, even if it also appears in Orthodoxy, but like I said, I'm perfectly willing to take you at your word if you say this is not the case. 

Thanks. 

Quote
Whatever the case may indeed be, I hope you'll at least acknowledge that the post was intended to be provocative and, as I said, tweak the nose of those who object to baptism by pouring.

Provocative?  No, it was not intended to be provocative.  Porter more or less gets it:

I think the irony here is that Athos, which has held up their baptisms against baptisms in other jurisdictions as "the right way," ostensibly being caught in whatever weird variation this is. Nothing to do with RC. And I don't think I'm alone in this perception.
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Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Baptism by Pouring...
« Reply #53 on: July 24, 2017, 05:05:44 PM »

Respectfully, Liza, I don't think that you and Mor agree on whether or not baptism by pouring is problematic, but merely on the fact that it does occur within the Orthodox Church.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but Mor has stated that for him baptism by pouring is not problematic at all, even if baptism by full immersion is an option.


Submersion is optimal.

However.... I was poured upon...so, what can I say?  ;)
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Baptism by Pouring...
« Reply #54 on: July 24, 2017, 05:28:02 PM »
I don't think I'm explaining, merely describing.   

Now see, that makes it seem like it's plain as day for all the world to see that your perception of what has occurred in the photos - that a man was baptized by pouring on Mt. Athos - is the right one, that it's as obvious as the nose on one's face, and that those of us who are disinclined to agree with you are wrong.  I don't think that's fair to say at this juncture.

Quote
Like I said, it's all conjecture on both our parts, and it does seem to be colored - in both instances - by our opinions on full immersion baptism vs. baptism by pouring.  Knowing our respective stances on the RCC, I can't help but think that ties in there somewhere as well, but if you say it doesn't on your end, of course I'll take you at your word.

That settles that, then. 

Okey dokey.

As I understand no. 26, the explanation is basically that the bishop made up a rite in which the man immerses himself in the sea so that the bishop doesn't have to get wet, and then comes back to shore so the bishop can pour and invoke the Trinitarian formula.  That's even worse than straight pouring.

I don't know that I agree, but does the "even worse" mean that you consider "straight pouring" to be problematic in some degree?

What I meant is that this conversation can be had without reference to Roman Catholicism at all, which is in fact how I have been approaching it. 

I don't know that that is true.  My feeling was that EO criticism of Rome on this issue would inevitably be dragged into the conversation and - in the eyes of some who are sympathetic to the church of Rome anyway - "invalidated" to one degree or another.  That has indeed come to pass.

Thanks. 

You're welcome.

Provocative?  No, it was not intended to be provocative.  Porter more or less gets it:

I think the irony here is that Athos, which has held up their baptisms against baptisms in other jurisdictions as "the right way," ostensibly being caught in whatever weird variation this is. Nothing to do with RC. And I don't think I'm alone in this perception.

In other words, a thumb in the eye of the high-and-mighty Athonites and their rigorist supporters, and by extension, anyone who believes full immersion to be the proper form of Baptism and pouring to be an application of oikonomia (Like Yours Truly, for example).  Provocative by any other name.


Respectfully, Liza, I don't think that you and Mor agree on whether or not baptism by pouring is problematic, but merely on the fact that it does occur within the Orthodox Church.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but Mor has stated that for him baptism by pouring is not problematic at all, even if baptism by full immersion is an option.


Submersion is optimal.

However.... I was poured upon...so, what can I say?  ;)

I'm not sure what you're getting at here.  ???

My point is, I don't think you and Mor agree on whether or not the trend you describe as problematic is actually problematic.
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Baptism by Pouring...
« Reply #55 on: July 24, 2017, 06:24:33 PM »
I don't think I'm explaining, merely describing.   

Now see, that makes it seem like it's plain as day for all the world to see that your perception of what has occurred in the photos - that a man was baptized by pouring on Mt. Athos - is the right one, that it's as obvious as the nose on one's face, and that those of us who are disinclined to agree with you are wrong.  I don't think that's fair to say at this juncture.

I disagree.  If you go through the photo album, it follows the order of the rite rather closely, with photos of major moments in the rite where you'd expect to see them.  Where you'd expect to find photos of the baptism, you see photos of pouring.  I'm open to reconsidering, but none of the alternative explanations suggested make sense to me. 

Quote
As I understand no. 26, the explanation is basically that the bishop made up a rite in which the man immerses himself in the sea so that the bishop doesn't have to get wet, and then comes back to shore so the bishop can pour and invoke the Trinitarian formula.  That's even worse than straight pouring.

I don't know that I agree, but does the "even worse" mean that you consider "straight pouring" to be problematic in some degree?

If we take "triple immersion" to be the ideal (which it is), then pouring is a lesser option.  Pouring is regarded by not a few people as such a lesser option that they consider it inadequate for the holy mystery, even though it is an allowed option from apostolic times.  I agree with their starting point, but not with their end.  Immersion is preferable whenever and wherever possible, but I don't think pouring is some major (and/or invalidating) error when it takes place in a situation in which immersion is possible.  Not everyone agrees with me on that, which is why the photo in the OP could appear problematic.   

Quote
What I meant is that this conversation can be had without reference to Roman Catholicism at all, which is in fact how I have been approaching it. 

I don't know that that is true.  My feeling was that EO criticism of Rome on this issue would inevitably be dragged into the conversation and - in the eyes of some who are sympathetic to the church of Rome anyway - "invalidated" to one degree or another.  That has indeed come to pass.

It came to pass, but it didn't need to. 

Quote
Provocative?  No, it was not intended to be provocative.  Porter more or less gets it:

I think the irony here is that Athos, which has held up their baptisms against baptisms in other jurisdictions as "the right way," ostensibly being caught in whatever weird variation this is. Nothing to do with RC. And I don't think I'm alone in this perception.

In other words, a thumb in the eye of the high-and-mighty Athonites and their rigorist supporters, and by extension, anyone who believes full immersion to be the proper form of Baptism and pouring to be an application of oikonomia (Like Yours Truly, for example).  Provocative by any other name.

Suit yourself, but as the OP, I think I know a bit more about my intention than others.
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Re: Baptism by Pouring...
« Reply #56 on: July 24, 2017, 06:31:36 PM »
I daresay this thread has morphed into baptism by boring *badumcha*
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Baptism by Pouring...
« Reply #57 on: July 24, 2017, 06:37:14 PM »
I daresay this thread has morphed into baptism by boring *badumcha*

Hello Iconodule,

I respect you because you are a well-read man who appreciates fine art and music, and you are an author.  I enjoy having the opportunity to discuss issues of common interest with you in a respectful manner because I value your insights.  There is no need for insults. 

Peace.   
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Re: Baptism by Pouring...
« Reply #58 on: July 24, 2017, 06:50:09 PM »
I disagree.  If you go through the photo album, it follows the order of the rite rather closely, with photos of major moments in the rite where you'd expect to see them.  Where you'd expect to find photos of the baptism, you see photos of pouring.  I'm open to reconsidering, but none of the alternative explanations suggested make sense to me. 

So then it is your opinion that those who disagree with you are wrong.  You have nothing to substantiate that with other than your interpretation of the sequence of events in the photos and how that syncs up with the rite.  As has been noted, others disagree with you.  It comes down to your interpretation of uncaptioned, unexplained photos vs. ours.  You are not right in any absolute sense.  That said, as I have previously stated, I am perfectly happy to consider that you might be, and should evidence be presented making it absolute, I will happily accept it.

If we take "triple immersion" to be the ideal (which it is), then pouring is a lesser option.  Pouring is regarded by not a few people as such a lesser option that they consider it inadequate for the holy mystery, even though it is an allowed option from apostolic times.  I agree with their starting point, but not with their end.  Immersion is preferable whenever and wherever possible, but I don't think pouring is some major (and/or invalidating) error when it takes place in a situation in which immersion is possible.

I don't disagree with any of this.  We're actually on the same page on this point.

Not everyone agrees with me on that, which is why the photo in the OP could appear problematic.

Right.  So this thread was sort of a "Now what?" to those who regard pouring as inadequate to impart the Holy Mystery, right?

It came to pass, but it didn't need to. 

Again, we disagree.  So long as this subject is broached in the public forum, it is inevitable that some advocate of the Catholic Church will chime in with their two cents on how the East is wrong to judge the West on this point.  It's like showing a video clip of Ethiopian mezmur or some Orthodox mission in Africa with native music.  Some wrongheaded imbecile will inevitably try to argue against the facts that it sets a precedent for happy-clappy CCM in North American Oriental Orthodoxy.

Suit yourself, but as the OP, I think I know a bit more about my intention than others.

We're not arguing about intention per se.  I said the thread amounted to a thumb in the eye of the high-and-mighty Athonites and their rigorist supporters, and there was a splashover effect that got a couple of us conservatives in the first two rows a little damp as well.  Whatever your intention was, I think the tone set by the OP was unfortunately a tone of challenge and triumph.  You're still my boy though.  We'll just have to agree to disagree.  :)
« Last Edit: July 24, 2017, 06:54:36 PM by Antonious Nikolas »
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Re: Baptism by Pouring...
« Reply #59 on: July 25, 2017, 08:45:33 AM »
I was baptized in the way of St. Vladimir, Equal-to-the-Apostles, so I'm saved.
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Offline LenInSebastopol

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Re: Baptism by Pouring...
« Reply #60 on: August 17, 2017, 09:31:11 AM »
I daresay this thread has morphed into baptism by boring *badumcha*

True 'dat. But if you want a really interesting/boring read try: The Ecclesiological Renovation of Vatican II: An Orthodox Examination of Rome's Ecumenical Theology Regarding Baptism and the Church by Fr. Peter Heers.
His clarity of the Baptismal issues are so good...well, don't want you to be bored, so read it yourself.

BTW, are the Bishop's vestments wet to the waist?
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