Letting some orthodox doctrines in the bible stay as mysteries instead of dogmas

Is somebody demanding that others believe the same way?

Happens all the time in churches

I think the Salvation Army may not, but I think you missed the point.

The creed does not just say “practice baptism.”

Maybe some Christian groups don’t baptize, but baptism is very important in mainline churches.

Why? It’s commanded in the Great Commission.

Also, in Acts 2 it says:

36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him.” 40 And he testified with many other words and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. 42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

There are other passages as well

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Another thought:

None of the writers of the Bible were infallible. We should not be afraid of a diversity of opinions and interpretations, within reason. The Roman Catholic church at one time forbade lay people from translating the Bible or even reading it, to control unofficial interpretations. That was a mistake.

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He was exiled. But what I meant is, why speak up at all instead of letting the matter remain a mystery?

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True. I guess we all agree that baptism was part of the original teaching by Jesus and his apostles. The different interpretations were not about having baptism, they were about what happens in the baptism.

To join a local church, a person needs to be baptized, either baptized just before joining or having been baptized earlier, in some other place. The connection between baptism and joining the local church makes interpretations about baptism influential. I guess it was Tertullianus who wrote that a baptism done by heretics should not be considered as a baptism at all.

The rite of how baptism is performed have changed through centuries. I do not know if any group performs the baptism today as was instructed in the Apostolic tradition by Hippolytus.

The Nicene creed only says “I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins.” That’s all it says about baptism. No mention of interpretations. And the mainline churches have been largely in agreement with “one baptism for the remission of sins.” As far as I know, nobody re-baptizes. Baptism in one denomination is generally accepted as valid in other denominations, as long as the baptism is done with water and in the name of the Trinity. Even the Roman Catholic Church accepts baptism by other denominations as valid. And they even accept “lay baptism” in emergency situations-- baptism performed by a lay person!

Hey @GJDS, does the Eastern Orthodox Church accept baptisms done in other denominations? I mean, if somebody wishes to convert and has been baptized already, do they make you get baptized again?

Notice that I was talking about mainline churches. The Evangelical churches can be different. My brother joined a small Evangelical church for a while. He had been baptized as an infant but the church made him get baptized again. They also didn’t allow females to wear pants to church.

Its not just “small evangelical” churches, many protestant denominations think that only believer’s baptism (of consenting adults) is meaningful and hence will “re-baptize” people with infant baptisms. And my church lets women wear pants. And preach :wink:


I didn’t say it was just small evangelical church. It’s sad to to think that so many consider me not baptized.

I do not know - public infant baptism is practiced, and my guess is for a convert who has been baptized in another tradition, he and his priest would discuss it and, if needed, would perform in private.

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My sister-in-law was baptized as an infant, but decided on her own will to later get baptized as an adult believer after she transferred denominations, based on a new theological understanding she had about the role of baptism (it was not something the church forced her to do, but something she wanted to do…)


It is interesting. In my Baptist church, they require believer’sbaptism by immersion to be a member, even though we do not feel baptism has any salvation role, and thus sprinkled or baptized as an infant is fine to be be a Christian. It puts the church in the odd position of there being a higher standard to be be a member, than it takes to get into heaven. :wink:


Ha, interesting, yes. Membership legalities vary from congregation to congregation of my denomination (Mennonite) with some just like your Baptist church. Some now accept transfers of membership based just on a confession of faith for those baptized as infants. In my experience, though, most such transferring adult members do want a baptism they choose for themselves.


I belong to a church that started as a revival movement within the lutheran church. At that time, there was no freedom of religion in Finland. In practice, a Christian had to belong to one of the mainline churches - Lutheran or eastern orthodox (those were the main churches) or RC church (a very small minority church in Finland). After the law allowed the establishment of other churches, our church accepted both type of baptisms, infant and believer’s, for some time. As the theology related to baptism became more well known, the infant baptism stopped. Now believers’s baptism by immersion is the only type of baptism.

Despite my background, I could accept a baptism done in the large mainline churches but only if the baptism was done after the person confessed her/his faith - it is not enough that the parents or godparents express their faith.

I think that the very old instructions about where to baptize are ok. According to the oldest church instructions I know, it should be running fresh water and the baptism should be by immersion. If that is not possible, then standing/stagnant water is ok. If there are not enough of water, then even pouring of water on the person can be accepted. The old church rite included immersion three times (Father x1, Son x1, Holy Spirit x1) but I think that was just a modified practice and one immersion is enough.

There is much theology related to baptism. A thorough discussion of the theology is something that should probably be done elsewhere, not on this forum.

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In my church, to be a Christian you need to believe in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. Baptism is not a requirement to being saved but baptism is expected from those wanting to be followers of Jesus. A person that is not baptized (somewhere) cannot become a member of the church. I guess this is close to the practices you described - probably fairly common in Evangelical churches.

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I emailed a Greek Orthodox priest in the area about accepting Baptism done by other denominations and this was his reply:

In general, in most Orthodox jurisdictions, if one was previously baptized with water, in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, in a recognized Christian church or denomination, they would only need to be chrismated (confirmed) into the Orthodox Faith.

So it’s like I thought. Baptism is universally recognized among mainline churches.

Nobody said anything about force. The new denomination must have convinced her that she wasn’t really baptized.

So what are these denominations that would consider those baptized as infants (that would be most Christians, including me) to be unbaptized?

You probably know that mainline churches and probably most other churches fully accept your “believer’s baptism.”

Yes. But we shouldn’t act like the Nicene creed created division about baptism.

My sister in law wasn’t “convinced” by the church, but by her own reading of scripture, and alternative theological views on baptism.

and If you read @jpm comment above, it seems Baptists for one don’t accept infant baptisms, and they are a pretty large denomination in the U.S.