Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Why we don't "rebaptize" people.  Or why Methodists do not baptize people who have already been baptized before.

First let me say that I do not speak officially for the entire Methodist church.  I don't think that will surprise any of you.  I am just me, but I think these views are pretty "Methodist."

When someone is baptized we believe that they are baptized into Christ, not into a local church or a denomination.  We accept all Christian baptisms.  It's not about us, it's about what God has done in your baptism.

If you were baptized, you don't need to be baptized again.  Once is enough.  Baptism is a sign of God's promise.  In adults, and in general, it is a sign of repentance.  God's promise does not go away if you backslide.  The concept of repentance does not change based on your behavior.

If we are baptized based on our faithfulness and desire to follow Jesus, then we better get baptized a lot.  If a person thinks that those who sin should be baptized again, all of us better get baptized every day - maybe even every hour.  I know a 25 year old that was baptized 5 times before he finally decided that there had to be more to the concept.  If instead, we believe that God is active in baptism, it does not need to be redone, even if we sin.  God doesn't change after all, and his commitment to us does not waver, even when we do.

Someone will say, "I don't remember my baptism."  Well friend, God does, and so do the people who stood with you at the time.  Baptism is a sacred act.  It's value is not based on whether or not we remember it or if we really understood when we were 8 months old, 8 years old or eighteen years old.  We learn much about commitment to Christ along the journey of this life.  We don't get rebaptized every time that we understand more.

To be rebaptized is to make baptism about us.  It is to say that God's promise did not count.  Baptism was God's idea and it only needs to be done once.  If you have been baptized, trust in Christ and remember the power of God at work in your baptism.  God never fails us and your baptism was a sign of that.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

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