1 Baptism, 2 Baptisms, 3 Baptisms, 4...


I have been in discussion with a Baptist (her church is independent) and she was trying to explain the practice of multiple baptisms. She says that when a person has committed “a seriously evil sin” then they need to be re-baptized to cleanse their soul again. She says that a true believer knows in their heart if the sin needs to be washed away through baptism. Plus, most members of the church have at least a yearly baptism, just in case. Does anyone know about this, or what denominations believe this? Where does the origin of this theology comes from? It sounds to me like they believe in the need of reconciliation with God, but since they don’t believe in confession they have tried to devise some other way to access God’s grace.


I was raised Baptist and have never heard of this. I have, however, heard of some Baptist Churches (Missionary, I believe) who require new members to be rebaptised when they join the church. I dont know why though.


A Baptist is saying this?

I’ve never heard of such a thing, please tell her this is increadibly incorrect.


Those coming into the Catholic Church (like me) fall into two groups: Candidates who have been previously baptized, and Catechumans who have been not.

Of course, that previous baptism must have been done by a Christian Church with the Trinitarian formula. I was baptized Church of England, so the Catholic Church does not require me to have a second baptism. Catechumans get their first and LAST baptism. One baptism per person.


They make up their own religion, but sincerely think it comes from God. They think they follow the Bible, but they just follow whatever their “pastor” tells them he thinks it means, or whatever they think it means, to the best of their understanding.

Multiple baptism is a misnomer. The first one is indeed a Baptism if it is a Trinitarian Baptism, but the others are just baths with clothes on in front of a group of people, and can make some feel a bit goofy.

I think this displays a deep dis-satisfaction in their religion and in their hearts. They don’t know it, but they are yearning for the Sacraments administered by a validly ordained Priest of the Church founded by Christ. These alone can give the soul the personal relationship with his or her Maker, and bring about the peace of God that we all desire, not to mention the spiritual sustenance for the journey to Heaven.

I was in the Baptist “church” for four years, so I am not just having a go at them for no reason. It breaks my heart whenever I read something about Baptists in particular, and Protestants in general. I sincerely hope they all become Catholics some day, but most of them seem quite stuck in that religious group.:frowning:


I know where the idea came from


I know several Baptists who belong to churches which re-baptize any time a person returns from serious sin. I know of several Baptist churches in the south which re-baptize with the frequency of your friend’s.

When they have so few sacraments they recognize to choose from (baptism and communion) it would be logical that they would resort to one or the other to reflect their return to grace.

Be grateful for confession and reconcilation.


Huh mutiple Baptism…rather strange to me. Even though God’s has mercy and grace to us, but we have to understand no matter how many time we go for baptism and washing aways of the sins, it is our heart that need the urge for repentance to help us stay as far away from Sin. Else baptism is meaningless, if you sin and sin, and you go for baptism and baptism then what is baptism about?? :eek:

Baptism is a spiritual act not taken for granted…


This is very strange for a true Baptist tradition, in that they don’t normally believe that baptism effects any spiritual change, like cleansing or reconciliation, but is only a symbol of being born again, which to most Baptists, only happens once.

They in effect, are treating baptism as a sacrament and don’t even know it. Their spirit knows it needs a sacrament, their theology hasn’t caught up with it in the “correct” way yet! :wink:


I think there was a thread similar to this when I first joined these forums. The explaination was something like, the first one (or however many) baptism(s) must not have “took” or else the person wouldn’t have fallen into such a bad sin state.

Seems kinda similar to the perms I’ve had over the years (in the '80s, of course). I can only remember one that actually took. All the others just fell flat after a couple of weeks!


I find this concept hard to fathom, since with my experience with Baptists over at Baptistboard.com, when they don’t believe baptism is mandatory…


Recently, a convert from Southern Baptist to Catholic spoke at our church. He said he was baptized at age 8, but then re-baptized later in his life to re-commit to Christ since he had fallen away, of sorts (he prayed the St. Augustine prayer: “Dear God, make me chaste, but not now.”) He said that because baptism is symbolic in the Southern Baptist church a person can be baptized ore than once.


I was thinking of that thread, too. I think it belonged to deb1.

edited to add:

Do I have a great memory or what?!



[quote="RCCDefender]I think there was a thread similar to this when I first joined these forums. The explaination was something like, the first one (or however many) baptism(s) must not have “took” or else the person wouldn’t have fallen into such a bad sin state.

Is this because baptism, in non-Catholic denominations, is seen as external/symbolic, the “cloak of righteousness” that only covers sin rather than internal/cleansing of sin completely?


Thank you all for your comments. My friend’s church (the one that sparked this thread) is not affiliated with any other church, and are one of those that believes that only their 100ish members have got the Truth. I understand that while they call themselves Baptist, they don’t represent most Baptists. However, some of your descriptions of the typical view of Baptist has led me to another question.

If Baptists and others believe that baptism is only symbolic, how can Catholics accept their baptism as real. Even if they use the Trinitarian formula and water, if the baptizer doesn’t intend to do what the Catholic Church believes, and the baptizee only believes this is symbolic, how can a true baptism (as the Catholic Church teaches) take place? How can we accept a baptism from these denominations?


Because the Baptism effects more than they realize. They may not acknowledge the effects, that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. And we have to understand also that they have a genuine belief in Christ and their salvation through Him. I think this may even come under the doctrine of baptism of desire, where the desire for a spiritual cleansing is present, and the baptism itself is present, they just don’t understand the correlation between the two.

I hope I haven’t done damage to the undestanding of Catholic doctrine. I heard this explained on EWTN’s Catechism series with Fr. Corapi once and this is hopefully a correct recounting of that segment. :o

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