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Baptist Baptismal Practices

In the following e-mail exchange, the e-mailer's comments are in black and enclosed in "greater than" and "lesser than" signs. My comments are in red.


I'm writing an analysis paper for my college anthropology class, and I've chosen to write it on a Baptist baptism. However, I cannot find a step-by-step description of what is said and done anywhere online. I've spent hours looking! It's been 12 years since my own baptism, and quite a while since I've watched someone else's... and I don't have time to find one to watch before the paper is due.

Is there any way you can tell me step-by-step what is said and done in a Baptist baptism, including the Scriptures and everything? Whatever help you could give me would be greatly appreciated!! :)


You cannot find a description as there is no "prescribed" Baptist ritual. But I can describe what happened the last time my church had a baptism.

Since me meet at the local YMCA, we used their pool for the baptism. Sometimes the pastor and the ones being baptized will wear white robes, sometimes they will not. I cannot remember if they did or not this time.

The pastor went go into the water on the shallow end of the pool first. The baptismal candidates would go in one a time to the pastor. He asked each to give a short testimony of their faith in Christ. Then he asked something like "Are you trusting in Jesus Christ for your salvation?" When they answered "yes" he would slowly dip them into the water while reciting Matthew 28:19: "I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

He will bring the person back up out of the water. The one just baptized will then leave the water ad the next person will come in.

That's about it. No elaborate ceremony.

I hope that helps.

>Subject: Baptism


I am a born again Christian. Being that the Bible says that I am a priest of my own house, is it permissible to baptize members of my own family?


I would say it would be permissible but not advisable, if you are referring to baptizing them in your own home. The main idea of baptism is as a public confession of ones faith, and baptizing your own kids at home would not fit this idea. It is better to do it in a church setting. In this way, the person is visibly brought into the body of Christ. But I would say, if the pastor of the church would allow it, that I would see nothing wrong with you doing the actual baptizing in the church setting.

God bless,
Gary Z.

>Subject: Dedication Ceremony

My husband and I have both been raised with Catholic beliefs. We are not opposed to the religion, but sought to have our 3-month son baptized in the Baptist Church. Is there a difference in "dedication" vs. baptismal?


There is a significant difference between a Baptist infant dedication ceremony and Catholic infant baptism. The dedication ceremony is more for the parents than the child. The parents are dedicating themselves to raise up the child in the ways of the Lord. But it does not in any way ensure the "salvation" of the infant. In Catholicism, baptism is considered to be the means of salvation for the child.

In the Baptist faith, before one is baptized, the person must make a personal profession of faith in Jesus Christ before being baptized. And it is by this faith that one is saved. But since this requires a personal profession of faith, a person has to be old enough to understand the implications before being baptized. So Baptists generally will not baptize anyone younger than about eight.

If you're wondering, in Baptist thought, children dying before being baptized can be saved by the grace of God and His foreseeing that they would place their faith in Christ if they had lived longer.

If you're interested, I present the Biblical basis for the Baptist viewpoint in my Scripture Workbook.

God bless,
Gary Z.

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