Do I have to get baptized in a church by a pastor, or can my Christian dad or another Christian do it?


Clarify Share Report Asked March 18 2016 Mini Anonymous

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Van gogh vincent first steps after millet Jim Riddle Old, tired, retired, fat, bald, gimpy and happy
This is a great question, and it deserves probably a greater answer than I can give; but:
The easiest answer to your question would be "yes", but that still leaves ambiguity. I believe any Christian can baptize. 
And, also I believe that it does not have to be a Christian who baptizes you. 

SO, HERE IS THE ANSWER FOR YOU: The validity of a baptism is, to me, dependent only on whether YOU believe; it does not really matter who baptizes you.
Read on, please.
The command to baptize, in Matthew, is well known:
Matthew 28, English Standard Version: 
"16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Clearly, to me, this opens up any place and any time is plenty good for baptism, because Jesus is always with us and, therefore, the presence of the Father and the Holy Spirit, the three being one.

We have the also familiar story of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts. It's fairly long to see the whole story, please patiently read it; there's a lot in it:
Acts 8, ESV:
26 ¶ Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. 27 And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship 28 and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29 And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” 30 So Philip ran to him... Philip opened his mouth, and... told him the good news about Jesus. 36 And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” 37 38 And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. 

Now, notice that in the ESV, verse 37 is missing! In the NAS95, which is the translation I myself usually read, it is left in as: [[And Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."]]

Verse 37 is in or out depending on translation (in King James, NAS, not in NIV, ESV), but I think it is a key to my perceived answer. The validity of a baptism is, to me, dependent only on whether YOU believe. The baptism has always been a physical and outward sign of an inward and Spiritual Grace, or something in the nature of those words.

Extra credit to answer this one: what is meant in 1PE 3:18-21? Is it the baptism that saves you? I say not unless you have opened your heart already, but...
ESV 1PE 3:18 ¶ For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.
21 ¶ Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.

March 19 2016 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

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