CORNISH-L ArchivesArchiver > CORNISH > 2011-11 > 1321060400
From: Andrew Rodger <>
Subject: Re: [CORNISH] Multiple Baptisms and Emigration
Date: Sat, 12 Nov 2011 12:13:20 +1100
For those not sure of the rules for baptism in these days of
declining Church membership:
People may be baptized at any age, provided they have not been
baptized previously -- except in what are called "Anabaptist" sects,
who regard any baptism other than their own as invalid and therefore
baptize everyone who enters the sect regardless of original status.
(I understand the Baptist Church used to do this, but a member has
assured me that this is no longer the case.) The Roman Catholics,
who believe in Purgatory (a sort of midpoint between mortal life and
eternal life), and that an unbaptized person is bound to endure
eternal suffering in Purgatory, will allow any baptized member of the
Church to baptize in an emergency, but in other churches only
ordained clergy are so empowered, because they do not hold this
(completely unscriptural) doctrine and, if the infant dies, they
believe God's mercy will be available. (They also do not believe in
"original sin", i.e. that everyone is born inherently sinful, and had
better be baptized before death, or else . . . !)
If the person is an infant, unable to understand the questions and
make the responses required in the service, the parents do it on the
candidate's behalf; otherwise the candidates do it themselves. In
the case of infant baptism, the candidate can formally (not
"formerly"!) enter into full membership of the Church by making
certain promises, in a service usually called "Confirmation", once
full understanding and competence to do so are reached, and usually
after a period of instruction.
An interesting variation in the baptism service in the Uniting Church
in Australia, to which I belong, is that whereas most Churches first
ask the parents to attest to their faith, and then make the promises,
after which the child is baptized, we ask the parents what they wish
for the child, they ask for baptism and attest to their faith, then
the child is baptized, and in response the parents make the promises
(to live a Christian life and bring up the child in the nurture and
admonition of the faith). I understand that this comes from the
French Protestant Church; the revised sequence is intended to
emphasize the primacy of the grace of God in the whole process, i.e.
the child's fate is not primarily dependent (not "descendant") on the
parents or indeed the Church, but on God's mercy.
On 11 Nov 2011, at 9:53 PM, John CARBIS wrote:
> Good morning Chris
> Have you considered that it may well be a 'matter of convenience'
> and may also be very descendent upon what the parents may have been
> doing in the intervening years.
> What were their occupations, miners, fishermen?
> I have found that in some instances children even as young persons
> almost ready for marriage have only been baptised or more formerly
> 'taken into the church' a year or so before the marriage.
> Regards, John
> John C CARBIS
|Re: [CORNISH] Multiple Baptisms and Emigration by Andrew Rodger <>|