4. At the outset we think it advisable to give two documents which express clearly the mind of the Churchon the subject of baptism. Dear Belinda, Peace in Christ! Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. Remember the jailer that accepted Jesus while Paul & Silas were in jail in Acts 16? A witness to a lay baptism should be present, but this is not of necessity. Parents should tell their children when and where they were baptized, so that even should the certificate be lost and the parents die, the registration may be traced. QUESTION: You say that infant baptism is ONE way of salvation. Provided here is an overview of what baptism in the Reformed Church in America looks like. At this time, not only did John have the proper authority, but he was the only qualified administrator at the time. Baptism can also be performed by a non-Catholic who would do it properly, if there is no other option. Why put a ball and chain on beautiful feet? In danger of death ANY person (even a non-baptized person) may administer baptism to another person by pouring natural water over their head while saying (at the same time) “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” However, it would be very wrong to do it without serious reason. Children should be baptized in the parochial church to which their parents belong, because the registration should be made there. Baptism administered by a Protestant or other minister is valid if properly performed: that is, with the use of water, together with the form of Baptism, and having the intention to do what the Church does. Answer: There is nothing in the Bible that states who can and cannot baptize someone. No one may baptize himself. A Catholic Prayers to Pray For and Devotions. The Epistles never discuss who is to baptize. After the jailer accepted Jesus as his Savior in verse 33 we see, “And he (the jailer) took them (Paul & Silas) the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he (the jailer) and all his, straightway.”  There is no doubt that Paul & Silas were God-called men, and what we see here is that they were the ones that administered the baptism. Contents show 1. Who can receive a Catholic baptism? There are some that believe that because the church has the authority to baptize, she also has the authority to choose who can and will administer the baptism. It should be very carefully kept, as later it will be needed for the sacrament of Confirmation. A baptism is a relatively simple ceremony in terms of logistics. However, what we do have is the overwhelming evidence that this is exactly what had taken place. 4. Since this practice was unknown in the New Testament or even the early Catholic church, it is speculative. Let’s look at the work Philip was doing just prior to being sent to the eunuch. The church only has the authority to carry out what Jesus said they were to carry out. The Bible teaches that only a God-called, ordained minister can administer baptism. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue; whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly. At the time Philip was baptizing and being led through the country by the Lord away from the church in Jerusalem, we can see that he was performing the duties of a God called man because he was no longer one the seven deacons; he had been called by God to do another work and ultimately was being led to be the bishop, or pastor of the church in Caesarea. These two acts have a special place in the church because Jesus commanded them and participated in them. In Acts 8:5 it says, “Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.”  The city of Samaria was more than 30 miles away from Jerusalem, more than a days walk from where the church is located where he had been ordained as a deacon. Baptism pictures the gospel. He wasn’t raised in any faith at all. I believe only ordained pastors–and depending on your understanding of the offices, this may include ordained elders (like it does in the RCA)–should administer the sacraments in general, and perform baptisms in particular. It is administered by washing with natural water and at the same time invoking the Most Holy Trinity. Some claim that the examples given in the New Testament only show apostles and deacons administering baptism. What is an evangelist and what does an evangelist do? The Bible teaches that only a God-called, ordained minister can administer baptism. A lay person who administers an emergency baptism must at least have the intention to do what the Church does when baptizing. After Baptism, a certificate is given containing the names of the child, of his parents, of his godparents, the dates of birth, of Baptism, and the place of Baptism. So I believe that since the Scriptures do not anywhere state who can and cannot perform baptisms, and since the Christian has the authority to be called a child of God (John 1:13), and since we are a kingdom of priests (Revelation 1:6), then I conclude that it is possible for anyone to perform a baptism. A deeper dive into the theology behind baptism can be found in the introduction to the sacraments. Some use the example of Philip to deny that teaching, so let’s take a moment to examine the work of Philip in baptism. The first five (Sacraments of Initiation and Sacraments of Healing) are pretty obvious, and the priest is an ordinary minister of each. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. This means that whether the baptism is performed inside a church or at the sea it must be performed by an ordinary minister. In this present time, the availability of a priest is extremely rare, so we provide these instructions on how a lay person may administer the Sacrament of The Lord’s Supper provides an opportunity for both evangelism and Christian growth. [For a thorough dealing of this topic, see Lyons and Butt, n.d.] After realizing the importance of baptism, many honest-hearted truth seekers have asked several sincere questions. When we rightly divide this verse, we see that Philip had come “out of” the seven and at the time he was baptizing he was not a deacon. If a person baptized by an extraordinary minister survives, he cannot be baptized again. Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them. If Philip was ordained to be a worker within the church in Jerusalem, why is he being led by God to go all over the country? Jesus did not give ALL authority to his church. I repented at 5, so it can be early, but not in someone's arms. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 1256) “the intention required is to will to do what the Church does when she baptizes, and to apply the Trinitarian baptismal formula.” The reason anybody can baptize is that it is, in fact, Jesus Christ who performs the baptism. Look at another example of administrators of baptism. Belinda. You can also e-mail us and we might be able to find a true Catholic in your area who could perform a baptism. As justification for this view, some will say that in Matthew 28:18-20 where Jesus tells the church to, among other things, baptize people, that this commission gives the church all authority, which would include choosing the administrator for a baptism. This is the BAPTISMAL CERTIFICATE. The principle of following biblical examples and precedents is often an important key to determining biblical authority for certain actions, when explicit commands and other information have not been given. In fact the duty of the deacons was only to take care of the “daily ministration”, or the physical needs of the members of that local church. Baptism is the first of seven sacraments and the way in which a person becomes a member of the Catholic Church. Baptism pictures salvation by grace. So, why was Philip in the city of Samaria? You can water-baptize yourself anywhere, anytime, you want. A statement by the late Dr. Harry Ironsides in his booklet on baptism … Who can administer the sacrament? To prepare adult candidates for baptism, some churches offer newcomers' classes to give candidates more information about life as a Presbyterian. then they laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.”  After Philip baptized, these two apostles came from Jerusalem (the same church that selected Philip to help the apostles in Jerusalem) and organized these people into a church based on the baptism they received of Philip. In order to baptize validly, natural fresh water or holy water is poured, on the head, face, or body of the person being baptized, and at the same time the words are pronounced: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”. With the issuing of what we call the “Great Commission” in Matthew 28:19,20, Jesus gave the authority of baptism to his New Testament church. God does not contradict himself; when He sets a pattern and a principle, we can be sure that the pattern will be followed throughout the teachings of His word. . We find Paul coming to the same place, to the same people and after investigating, he baptizes them properly, since he had the authority to do so. As we can see here, the label “evangelist” is given to a God called, ordained man. WHO can ADMINISTER Baptism? In Acts 8:38 the Bible says, “…and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.” Baptism is the first of seven sacraments and the way in which a person becomes a member of the Catholic Church. Since it confers grace by the signs' being properly carried out children can and should be baptized even while still infants. However, most churches will recognize a baptism performed by a layperson in an emergency. In both the book of Acts and the Epistles, the proper understanding of how one is saved (Acts 19:1-5) and the symbolism involved in baptism (Romans 6) seem to be more important than who is doing the baptism. Here we have Apollos trying to do a good thing. 3. . Originally, bishops, priests and sometimes deacons may perform baptisms. The priest is the usual minister of Baptism, but if there is danger that someone will die without Baptism, anyone else may and should baptize. 319. During their conversation, the eunuch accepts Jesus as his Savior and wanted to be baptized. Baptism is defined positively in the one and negatively in the other. The Bible clearly teaches us the proper purpose of baptism: baptism is for the remission of sins, so sins can be washed away by the blood of Jesus (Acts 2:38; 22:16; Mark 16:16; Rom. Thus, they have concluded, that in order to be properly baptized, a person must be baptized by a man who is a Christian. 6. One of those questions often is: “Who can baptize another person?” In the Latin-rite Church, these are the ordinary ministers of baptism. Acts 19:5, “When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.”. 1. Baptism marks the beginning of our lifelong journey as disciples of Jesus Christ. Let us look at those this would eliminate. But in cases of necessity, when there is danger of death and an ordinary minister is unavailable, anyone–man, woman, or child, Catholic or non-Catholic, atheist, or pagan–may and should baptize; that person then becomes the extraordinary minister of Baptism. In this case, however, ther… The ordinary ministers of baptism (in other words, the people ordinarily expected to perform baptism) are priests and deacons. The church only has the authority to carry out what Jesus said they were to carry out. You are probably most familiar with seeing it practiced in various denominations of Christianity; Catholics, Assemblies of God, and of course Baptists partake in baptisms, as well as most others. The person doing the baptizing can utilize the experience to explain the nature of salvation and the meaning of baptism. This administrator must meet standards and qualifications set up by God and His word, not by man or even the Lord’s church. But what I don’t understand is, how can the pastor administer … Albany Missionary Baptist Church-Albany, Oregon. For valid administration: Baptism: a Bishop, Priest, or Deacon. If the authority of Jesus to administer baptism lies only in his church, each church can commission any member it sees fit to baptize as a representative of the church by the authority of Christ. Baptism pictures the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yet when shown the “way of God more perfectly” he accepts his error, then adapts his thinking and practice to that of the true way of God. We’ve already established the fact that while he was here, God gave him the authority to prepare a people. Baptism is a true sacrament instituted by Christ. Answer: The ordinary ministers of baptism (in other words, the people ordinarily expected to perform baptism) are priests and deacons. This website references (2 Cor. Can someone be baptized twice? Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and the signs which were done. Anybody, even an unbeliever or a heretic can validly administer baptism. man, is Christ" (1 Cor.11:3), a woman should not baptize if a man be available for the purpose; just as neither should a layman in the presence of a cleric, nor a cleric in the presence of a priest. Many will argue that this verse shows that Philip was one of the seven, that he was a deacon, called by the church and that he was baptizing: therefore, the church can choose whoever they want to administer baptism. That they might receive the Holy Ghost: (for as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) To continue to fit within God’s established pattern, we can be sure that he only baptized after the Lord had called him and after the church had ordained him to fulfill this ministry. However, it failed to include the most important verse of that chapter. They are valuable, also, as containing a summary of the main points to be considered in the treatment of this important matter. It is also desirable … First, water-baptism isn’t necessary for Christians. 3. Let’s now look at Acts 21:8, “And the next day we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven: and abode with him.”  Quite some time has passed since we read about Philip in chapter 8, but as chapter 8 ended, Philip had stopped in Caesarea, and is still there when we get to this passage. Baptism is one of the 2 sacraments (the other being Matrimony) that can be done without a priest. It is also desirable … Contents show 1. Who can receive a Catholic baptism? Likewise, there is no case of any believer ever being admonished for baptizing a new disciple. In a case of an emergency, anyone can administer the Sacrament of Baptism, providing there is an intent to do so and the proper words are being said. The Bible teaches that only a God-called, ordained minister can administer baptism. In both the book of Acts and the Epistles, the proper understanding of how one is saved (Acts 19:1-5) and the symbolism involved in baptism (Romans 6) seem to be more important than who is doing the baptism. This verse plainly states the apostles needed to focus on the spiritual matters and deacons were chosen to serve in the physical matters to the membership within the church. 5. Does the … One of the key points involves the phrase “which was one of the seven”; was Philip a deacon or was this a former office? My friend says that the pastor will administer three sacraments all at the Vigil Mass: baptism, confirmation, and Holy Communion. The bishop is the higher authority and can give the power to subordinates. But since "the head of the woman is the man," and "the head of . I repented at 5, so it can be early, but not in someone's arms. John was a God-called man, ordained to do a specific work for the Lord. If the authority of Jesus to administer baptism lies only in his church, each church can commission any member it sees fit to baptize as a representative of the church by the authority of Christ. The journey of faith that begins in individual baptism continues in the church community. Baptism administered by the proper individual that does not have the authority of the church is just as wrong as one that tries to baptize without being God-called or ordained. In Ephesians 4:11-14 we can find the answer to what the work of an evangelist is, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.”. A Simple Catholic Guide and Information about its Teaching, Prayers and Traditions. The bishop is the higher authority and can give the power to subordinates. 2. Who can perform a Catholic baptism? Anybody—even an atheist—can administer baptism if he has the proper intention. The United Methodist Church recognizes two sacraments, baptism and communion. Since this practice was unknown in the New Testament or even the early Catholic church, it is speculative. However, the instruction as to who can administer baptism has always been the same, only a God-called, ordained man is allowed to perform this ordinance and only by the authorization of a New Testament church. Some use the example of Philip to deny that teaching, so let’s take a moment to examine the work of Philip in baptism. And the saying pleased the whole multitude; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.”  We can plainly see that Philip was one of the seven chosen to fulfill a need within the church. The final example to consider is John the Baptist. Amen.”. This man is called and ordained by God to edify and work to perfect the saints through the preaching and teaching of the Word of God. Consequently, just as a layman can baptize, as Christ's minister, so can a woman. How to Perform a Baptism. The priest is the usual minister of Baptism, but if there is danger that someone will die without Baptism, anyone else may and should baptize. Some have looked into the New Testament and concluded that every instance of baptism in the New Testament is one in which a Christian man does the baptizing. The Bible says that repentance is a pre-requisite for faith. In Acts 8, Philip is instructed by the Holy Spirit to join up with the Ethiopian eunuch to help him in understanding the scriptures. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. In the early days of the Church, religious instruction preceded Baptism; the candidates for Baptism were called catechumens. What is discussed is the meaning behind baptism. Do the qualifications, character, and spiritual standing of one who performs baptism determine whether or not the baptizing is valid? 6:3,4). When properly given, lay baptism is as valid as baptism given by a priest. For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. This means that whether the baptism is performed inside a church or at the sea it must be performed by an ordinary minister. Conditional baptism is given when it is uncertain whether a person has been baptized, or when there is fear of the sacrament having been administered improperly. Who can administer the sacrament? 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