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Author Topic: Baptized twice ?  (Read 4238 times) Average Rating: 0
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KostaNY
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« on: March 28, 2006, 03:55:12 PM »

As I stated yesterday I was baptized into the Greek-Orthodox faith as a child, I have been struggling with this as of late, I know Protestants and Orthodox believers have different takes on this. So is baptism as a child right ? There are no scriptures in the Bible that refer to a child being baptized. Must you first understand and accept the gospel before you can be baptized ? Therefore a child does not understand and can not know what is happening. The following in Mark tells us to repent and believe in the gospel. Now how can a child repent and believe ? So I guess my question here is it a good idea to be baptized again ? And for those who support child baptism, can you provide scriptures as to where it is biblical. And yes I know about the traditions, I'm assuming this was also one of the traditions brought by the Orthodox Churches since it clearly not to biblical.

Mar 1:14 Now after John was delivered up, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God,
Mar 1:15 and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe in the gospel



These following scriptures describe men receiving the Holy Spirit without being baptized by just believing, and it also very clear that it states that those who believe on his name will have forgiveness of sins. So is baptism necessary to receive the Holy Spirit ? Is it necessary for salvation ? They were asked to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ later on but that was clear to show a public devotion to Christ.

Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit:
Mat 28:20 teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.
Acts 10:43-48 -- "(43)'All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.'
(44)While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. (45)The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. (46)For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.
(47)Then Peter said, 'Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.' (48)So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days."


John 3:5 -- "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit."

Is this scripture actually stating to be baptized of water or physical birth ? To be born into this world and then to be born again of spirit ?

« Last Edit: March 28, 2006, 03:59:56 PM by KostaNY » Logged
PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2006, 04:06:02 PM »

From reading this post and your posts on other threads that you've started, it appears to me as if you're trying to bait us into arguing with you and that you really don't care to listen to what we have to say.  We cannot and will not argue our doctrines on the basis of the Scriptures alone, for to do so would not be consistent with Orthodox Christianity.
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KostaNY
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2006, 04:15:29 PM »

From reading this post and your posts on other threads that you've started, it appears to me as if you're trying to bait us into arguing with you and that you really don't care to listen to what we have to say.  We cannot and will not argue our doctrines on the basis of the Scriptures alone, for to do so would not be consistent with Orthodox Christianity.


Peter why do you have to jump to conclusions ? Wheres the bait ? I am Greek just like you, I'm trying to seek some answers. Were you baptized as a child ? I'm just asking for advice, I mean others tell me you should be baptized again and other say you can only be baptized once. I am confused, I am just trying to find some answers. If you honestly think I'm trying to pull you into a debate, you got me wrong. To be honest I do take a Protestant view on things, and the way I have learned is to follow what the scriptures tell me, that is why it is more difficult to understand the traditions of the Greek-Orthodox Church. This is where you can guide me and tell me about them, so I can understand them. Allright brethren, relax. Peace.
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« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2006, 04:23:35 PM »

Kosta,

    Peter kind of beat me to the punch, but it seems like each of your posts go something like this...

"I'm Greek Orthodox but scripture says..."

    I think it has already been explained to you, in some detail, that scripture alone is not enough.  If you are ONLY looking to scripture, you are falling short on the full equation of Truth.

    What is the point of anyone giving you an explanation, if each and everytime you take a sola scripture view of faith?
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2006, 04:31:36 PM »

Peter why do you have to jump to conclusions ? Wheres the bait ? I am Greek just like you


For the record, I'm not Greek.  But I forgive you the innocent mistake.  All you know of me is what I've posted on this forum.  You've never actually seen me before.  I'm really an American mutt who was raised Protestant and "converted" to the Orthodox faith as a young adult.

Peace, my brother. Grin
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KostaNY
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« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2006, 04:34:01 PM »

Kosta,

 ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚ Peter kind of beat me to the punch, but it seems like each of your posts go something like this...

"I'm Greek Orthodox but scripture says..."

 ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚ I think it has already been explained to you, in some detail, that scripture alone is not enough.  If you are ONLY looking to scripture, you are falling short on the full equation of Truth.

 ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚ What is the point of anyone giving you an explanation, if each and everytime you take a sola scripture view of faith?

True, I respect that. I will lay off that the sola scriptura theme. Now maybe someone can explain to me when and where child baptism originated into our traditions. Tell me why it would not be a good choice to be baptized again. Any humble advice I can use. Thats all I'm looking for. If you don't want to provide scriptures that I understand. I apologize as I said before, its just that when I read the scriptures and it says repent and believe and then be baptized, I think how can a child possibly repent and believe ? How do you deal with the following scriptures ? I mean I can't just ignore them that is why I am trying to find a reasonoble explaination for them. So I can be at peace over this issue of being baptized. If you think I'm baiting you into a debate over scriptures I am not, I'm just trying as I have said many times,trying to understand the Greek faith. Peace.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2006, 04:42:56 PM by KostaNY » Logged
KostaNY
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« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2006, 04:37:27 PM »

For the record, I'm not Greek.  But I forgive you the innocent mistake.  All you know of me is what I've posted on this forum.  You've never actually seen me before.  I'm really an American mutt who was raised Protestant and "converted" to the Orthodox faith as a young adult.

Peace, my brother. Grin

Hey with the name Peter, what do you expect ?  Wink Honestly though sorry if the last couple days I have come off the wrong way. Just at a crossroads right now, I need some directions. Peace.
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« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2006, 04:40:34 PM »

http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article7067.asp

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« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2006, 04:41:28 PM »

Pedro,  you article is much better than mine, but this might be useful as well. http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/general/exact_IV_9.aspx
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« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2006, 04:44:28 PM »

WHile I'm not a sola scriptura fan, at least Kosta isn't totally throwing them out the window...

Try the article that Pedro linked!
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KostaNY
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« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2006, 04:44:49 PM »

Thanks boys, I will check out the following links, hopefully I can be at peace with this once and for all.
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2006, 05:17:35 PM »

I haven't yet read the articles linked to the above posts, but I do think it good for me to reiterate something I said in a different thread yesterday.  To the Orthodox, salvation is communal.  We must therefore understand baptism to be an initation into the community of believers just as much as--if not more than--it is the normative means for an individual's salvation.  In fact, God intends that each individual should work out his/her salvation within this community.
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« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2006, 05:20:37 PM »

Kosta,

From the questions you have been asking, I detect that you have received a heavy dose of ahistorical Protestant influence in theology. Now, I am not one to say that all Protestant things are bad, etc.  Certainly Protestantism has some good points and some good attributes.  But its presuppositions and worldview, its scriptural mind, its whole way of looking at things is very different from the Orthodox view.  Every time you come with a question about Orthodoxy you are going to find yourself getting all the way back to the basics and building a new foundation if you truly wish to understand the Orthodox point of view.  Hence, I believe you need a heavy dose of Church history and patrology.  If you are interested, I will be glad to give you some commonly available titles that we read in seminary that will give you a better foundation from which to form your way of understanding about the Orthodox faith.  Just let me know.

Anastasios
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« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2006, 05:22:29 PM »

Hey with the name Peter, what do you expect ?  Wink


Well, I share the same screen name with another person who has posted on this thread, even though our names are rendered in different languages (English vs. Spanish).  Peter = Pedro  Wink  Besides that, I hope you notice that my full screen name is PeterTheAleut.  I've actually adopted the name of an Alaskan native.  So much for being Greek...  Cheesy
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KostaNY
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« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2006, 08:33:06 PM »


Pedro I read the piece from the link you provided and I can honestly say it has answered some of my questions and does give me some peace of mind about this. Here is some parts of the article that I very much agree with for the defence of the infant baptism. Thanks everyone. Peace.



"And Peter said to them, 'Repent and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself " (Acts 2:38,39).

Where is anything found in Scripture that expressly forbids the baptism of infants or children?

How is it that God established a covenantal, corporate relationship with the tribes of Israel in the Old Testament, but you interpret the New Testament as abolishing the faith of an entire household with the father at its head in favor of a solely individualistic faith?

Where does Scripture prescribe any age for baptism?
Even if there were a special age when someone's faith reached "maturity," how could one discern that? Doesn't faith always mature? When is faith mature enough for baptism and when is it not? Who can judge?

If it was the norm to baptize children at a later age, why is there no evidence in Scripture or early Church history of instruction given to parents on how to help their adolescent children prepare for baptism?

In essence, laying aside all the polemics and prejudices and academic intricacies, what Scriptural principle is being violated if a child is baptized and matures in his faith?
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« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2006, 09:19:56 PM »

"And Peter said to them, 'Repent and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself " (Acts 2:38,39).

Where is anything found in Scripture that expressly forbids the baptism of infants or children?

How is it that God established a covenantal, corporate relationship with the tribes of Israel in the Old Testament, but you interpret the New Testament as abolishing the faith of an entire household with the father at its head in favor of a solely individualistic faith?

Where does Scripture prescribe any age for baptism?
Even if there were a special age when someone's faith reached "maturity," how could one discern that? Doesn't faith always mature? When is faith mature enough for baptism and when is it not? Who can judge?

If it was the norm to baptize children at a later age, why is there no evidence in Scripture or early Church history of instruction given to parents on how to help their adolescent children prepare for baptism?

In essence, laying aside all the polemics and prejudices and academic intricacies, what Scriptural principle is being violated if a child is baptized and matures in his faith?  

The Bible isn't going to necessarily prescribe a baptism age - because it is a mundane point that is assumed to be part of the Tradition of the CHurch - the Living Tradition that the authors assume the readers have, which should influence the reading of the scripture.  Is anything harmed by baptizing infants?  No, of course not.  What about references to infant baptism?  I can't think off hand, but every time you get a reference to someone baptizing their household, the kids are included.  Baptizing infants within believer families didn't become the norm for a few centuries, but it was present in the practice from the very beginning!
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« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2006, 10:38:02 PM »

Once again, what does it matter? Do we worship an entity that would reject us because we did something as silly as being baptized twice? 'Cause if He applies traditions ('cause that's what this "one time only" thing is) so strictly, we all should just give up right now.
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« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2006, 09:06:19 AM »

Tom,

    I don't think anyone said that to Kosta.  I think the point of it all is that Orthodox Christians follow not only scriputre but Tradition.  We do not purport to know God's will, but we have faith in the teachings of the fathers and that is why we do the things we do.

    I have sinned thousands of times, with the hopes that I will still be saved. I try to follow the ways of the Church to the best of my ability.  If not, why even belong to the Orthodox Church?
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« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2006, 09:23:35 AM »

Once again, what does it matter? Do we worship an entity that would reject us because we did something as silly as being baptized twice? 'Cause if He applies traditions ('cause that's what this "one time only" thing is) so strictly, we all should just give up right now.


Our actions have meanings.  If we get married twice, the state will arrest us for bigamy, even though we "just forgot to get that piece of paper that says we're divorced" first.  Our relationship with God is a relationship, not just a set of rules.  What we do affects him and what he does affects us.  As such, he lets it be known how to approach him and how not to.  In the Creed we confess one baptism, not two.  The Lord allowed the Nicene Creed to be established so that it would be clearer how to have communion with him.  The religious system you propose, Tom, is a scary no-man's land where one can never really know the Lord because one can create any category or belief he wants, substituting what the Lord has revealed to the Church with his own personal opinions.  "Oh God won't care, as long as you are sincere!" you reply.  But sincerity does not breed union and love.  I may sincerely believe something that is totally wrong, and this may keep me from the one I love.  For instance, if I believe my beloved lives in New Mexico but she actually lives in Arizona, I won't find her, even though I sincerely look for her in New Mexico and expect her to be there.  And while she may reach out to me and give me hints of where she is, she will not violate my freedom to reject her clues.  So Tom, please, use the roadmap that the Church--which is the Body of Christ, i.e. his presence on Earth, enlightened by the Holy Spirit--instead of your opinions which are too subjective and will not lead you out of yourself.

Anastasios
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« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2006, 10:06:35 AM »

My understanding of the issue about rebaptism is it was originally about the church, not about the Christian. I think the concern Anastasios expresses here is somewhat correct: American baptist/evangelical bodies are the exception to a huge consensus that baptism isn't just a sign of one's faith, but is rather an irrevocable sacrament.

I suspect that part of the reason that confrimation evolved into a rite separate from baptism was to fill the need for young adults and some converts to ratify the promises made for them when they were too young to speak for themselves. In ECUSA we have also evolved reaffirmation rites in which the vows are repeated but the sacramental act is omitted. For example, if there are no baptisms at the Easter Vigil, the congregation is called to reaffirm their baptismal vows.

Of course eastern practices are superior  Wink but I wanted to point out that there are other solutions to this issue besides anabaptism.
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« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2006, 04:08:42 PM »

Kosta,

Obviously if one is addressing persons above the age of reason, repentence for any and all sins committed is going to be a precondition of being Baptized.

However, this reasoning cannot be applied to small children who are incapable of excercizing their will so as to knowingly commit sins.  Additionally, to deny the possibility of Baptizing a small child is to show that one is mistaken about what the nature of Baptism in fact is.

While it is true that Holy Baptism remits sins, it has other ends besides this.  It places the seed of new life into the soul, and makes it's recipient a partaker in the Death and Ressurection of Christ - it is a "second birth", a birth into a new type of humanity, the humanity of Christ the God-Man (hence why the Scriptures call Him the "New Adam".)  We are born, by natural birth, into the "old Adam" - including his corruption and as such we are not conceived in the grace of God.  Given this, how can one insist that Holy Baptism cannot be valid or necessary in little ones?  Most esp. when the grace of Baptism, when joined to a proper Christian upbringing, will have the effect of keeping them from a multitude of sins?

Given this, the idea that one who was genuinely Baptized (Orthodox Baptism) needs to somehow be "baptized again" once he gets older is incorrect.  It's no more correct than saying that someone Baptized as an adult needs to be "baptized again" should they fall into sins, even serious ones.  While it is our manner of life which will determine whether Holy Baptism will bear fruit, nothing can efface the "root" which Baptism implants into the soul.
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