Baptism Help.

I was having a debate at work with two protestant employees about baptism.

I said I had been baptised, one of them said to me that if I were not fully immersed in water than I was not baptised just christened.

I know she is wrong but how do I explain it to her?

Thanks.

Work is not the appropriate place for theological debates. You will do nothing but annoy each other and work is annoying enough. As a Catholic, “debates” are misleading, because they imply that there is room to give on doctrine. Catholic doctrine, however, is pretty well set in stone, having been confirmed by God himself.

In a non-work setting, you should only only have discussions about how your beliefs are similar or different, explaining up front that your beliefs are closed and not subject to change. Do not expect to change their minds either; seek only to understand them better. If you can get a good, honest dialog, you may help open them to the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit, alone, can convert a hardcore Protestant.

I said I had been baptised, one of them said to me that if I were not fully immersed in water than I was not baptised just christened.

I am uncertain what they mean. As Catholics, we use “Christening” as a shorthand for baptism. Christ was baptized in the Jordan River, however, Christ was already free of all sin. We do not slavishly imitate Christ’s baptism, but use the species (water), that he ordained for the remission of sin and admittance to his Holy Church.

I know she is wrong but how do I explain it to her?

Thanks.

You can look through the Catholic.com library (links in the header) to get more information, however, I do not believe discussing this with co-workers is appropriate. You could also refer the individual to certain articles if she honestly wants to know about your beliefs. I suspect she may be trying to undermine them, in which case you should simply stop discussing this altogether.

Baptism and Christening are two words for the same thing. You can mention 1 Timothy 6:4 to them:
«conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid craving for controversy and for disputes about words. From these come envy, dissension, slander, base suspicions »

By who, and when was this supposed law given???

Remember, you do not need to prove or convince them of anything. Share the confidence you have in your faith as much as you understand it. Rely on God’s peace to guide you.

Meanwhile, I hope you learn more about why emerssion is not necessary for a valid Christian Baptism.

Peace
Michael

One does not have to be immersed in water for a baptism to be valid. The sprinkling of water on the forehead with the Trinitine words suffices.

You might explain that their position is inconsistent with the writings of early Christians and then quote from the Didache, a first-century Christian manual that includes a discussion of various ways that baptism may be administered:
And concerning baptism, baptize this way: Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living water [a river]. But if you have no living water, baptize into other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, do so in warm. But if you have neither, pour out water three times upon the head into the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. But before the baptism let the baptizer fast, and the baptized, and whoever else can; but you shall order the baptized to fast one or two days before. (Didache, chap. 7)

It probably won’t convince them but it may expose them to an aspect of Christian history they were not aware of before.

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