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What Three Things Do You Reject In Baptism? What Three Things Do You Reject In Baptism?

Theology and Spirituality

What Three Things Do You Reject In Baptism?

Written by: Charmian Dunkle

Discover the three key aspects rejected in baptism. Explore the theological and spiritual implications of these rejections. Gain a deeper understanding of baptismal theology.

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Table of Contents

The Misconception of Original Sin

Many Christian denominations believe in the concept of original sin, which is the idea that all humans inherit a sinful nature from Adam and Eve's disobedience in the Garden of Eden. However, this belief is not universally accepted, and there are some who reject the notion of original sin. Here are three things that some individuals reject in relation to baptism:

  1. Inherited Guilt: One of the main aspects of original sin is the belief that all individuals are born with the guilt of Adam and Eve's transgression. Those who reject this concept argue that it is unjust for individuals to bear the guilt of someone else's actions. They believe that each person is responsible for their own actions and should not be held accountable for the sins of their ancestors.

  2. Total Depravity: Another aspect of original sin is the belief in total depravity, which suggests that humans are inherently corrupt and incapable of choosing good. Those who reject this idea argue that while humans may have a tendency towards sin, they are not completely devoid of goodness. They believe that individuals have the capacity to make moral choices and are not inherently evil.

  3. Necessity of Infant Baptism: The belief in original sin often leads to the practice of infant baptism, as it is seen as a way to cleanse the child of inherited sin. However, those who reject original sin also reject the necessity of infant baptism. They argue that baptism should be a conscious and voluntary decision made by individuals who understand the significance of the sacrament.

In rejecting the misconception of original sin, individuals seek to emphasize the importance of personal responsibility, the potential for goodness within humanity, and the voluntary nature of baptism. These beliefs shape their understanding of the purpose and significance of the sacrament of baptism.


The Practice of Infant Baptism

Infant baptism is a common practice in many Christian traditions, where infants or young children are baptized to initiate them into the faith. However, there are individuals and denominations that reject the practice of infant baptism for several reasons:

  1. Lack of Personal Faith: One of the primary reasons for rejecting infant baptism is the belief that baptism should be a conscious and voluntary decision made by individuals who have the capacity to understand and profess their faith. Infants and young children are not able to comprehend the significance of baptism or express their personal faith, leading some to argue that the practice lacks the essential element of personal commitment to the Christian faith.

  2. Biblical Precedence: Those who reject infant baptism often point to the New Testament, where baptism is associated with repentance and belief in Jesus Christ. They argue that the biblical examples of baptism involve individuals who have made a conscious decision to follow Christ and publicly declare their faith. Since infants are unable to fulfill these criteria, some believe that infant baptism deviates from the biblical model of baptism.

  3. Understanding of Salvation: Another reason for rejecting infant baptism is rooted in differing views on salvation. Some individuals believe that baptism is a symbolic representation of a person's faith and commitment to Christ, and therefore should be reserved for those who can understand and profess their faith. They argue that salvation is a personal choice and should not be imposed on infants who are not capable of understanding the concept of salvation.

  4. Alternative Rites of Passage: For those who reject infant baptism, alternative rites of passage may be practiced instead. Some denominations have ceremonies or dedications that celebrate the birth of a child and welcome them into the community of faith without involving the sacrament of baptism. These alternative rituals emphasize the importance of community support and spiritual guidance for children without administering baptism at a young age.

In rejecting the practice of infant baptism, individuals and denominations seek to uphold the principles of personal faith, biblical precedent, and the understanding of salvation as essential components of the sacrament of baptism. This rejection reflects a commitment to preserving the voluntary and conscious nature of baptism as a significant milestone in one's Christian journey.


The Belief in Baptismal Regeneration

Baptismal regeneration is the belief that the act of baptism is essential for salvation and that it is the means through which an individual is spiritually reborn or regenerated. However, there are those who reject this belief for various reasons:

  1. Salvation by Faith Alone: Those who reject baptismal regeneration often adhere to the principle of salvation by faith alone. They emphasize the teachings of the apostle Paul and the doctrine of justification by faith, which asserts that individuals are justified and saved through their faith in Jesus Christ, not by any sacramental act such as baptism. This perspective underscores the importance of personal belief and trust in Christ as the sole requirement for salvation.

  2. Spiritual Regeneration: Another reason for rejecting baptismal regeneration is the understanding of spiritual regeneration as a distinct and separate experience from baptism. Some individuals believe that spiritual rebirth is a result of the work of the Holy Spirit in response to a person's faith in Christ, rather than being directly tied to the act of baptism. They argue that regeneration is a spiritual transformation that occurs within the individual, independent of any external ritual or sacrament.

  3. Symbolic Representation: Those who reject baptismal regeneration often view baptism as a symbolic representation of the believer's identification with Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. They see baptism as a public declaration of one's faith and a symbol of the inward spiritual reality that has already taken place through faith in Christ. From this perspective, baptism is not the means of regeneration, but rather a visible sign of the believer's union with Christ.

  4. Exclusionary Implications: Some individuals reject baptismal regeneration due to its potential exclusionary implications. They argue that tying salvation to the act of baptism may inadvertently exclude individuals who, for various reasons, are unable to be baptized. This could include individuals who never had the opportunity to be baptized or those who are physically unable to undergo the sacrament. Rejecting baptismal regeneration aligns with the belief that salvation should be accessible to all, regardless of their ability to participate in a specific ritual.

In rejecting the belief in baptismal regeneration, individuals and denominations seek to uphold the principles of salvation by faith, the distinct nature of spiritual regeneration, the symbolic significance of baptism, and the inclusivity of salvation. This rejection reflects a commitment to emphasizing the centrality of faith in Christ and the spiritual transformation that accompanies it, independent of the sacramental act of baptism.

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