As a child, I was baptized twice, both times of my own accord, and not knowing the teachings. (To me, re-baptism was a kind of re-dedication).
How serious of an offence is this since I didn’t understand the teachings on baptism then?
Both baptisms were within protestant sects, and both were done in proper formula.
I am not sure if anyone ever inquired if I had been baptized before the second baptism.
I truly believe now in only one baptism.
Life growing up was weird. I had little to no understanding of The Holy Trinity, just that there was this wonderful guy named Jesus who came to save me if I was baptized.
There was no formal teaching, and very little informal in my family. (step-dad was atheist, mom was :shrug: not really sure)
Anyway, please help if you can, as this is greatly concerning me now.
(I read somewhere that a person who’d been baptized Catholic, then re-baptized in another denomination, then reverted to Catholicism had to get some kind of ‘okay’ from the Holy See to re-enter the Church)
You say both baptisms were performed were done in proper formula. But I am concerned with your statement that you had little or no understanding of the Trinity. That raises the possibility of Unitarianism which if true would negate any baptism in that denomination. Have you been told by competent church officials that your baptism (at least one of them) was validly performed? If not I would hasten to your parish pastor and find out. Perhaps a conditional baptism is in order. Hard to tell with so little information in your post.
I am pretty sure both were in the proper form. “In the name of The Father, and of The Son, and of The Holy Spirit”.
No, I had no understanding of The Holy Trinity, but then nor do infants.
I believed in Jesus is all I can remember about the first one (approx. age 9) and the second one I am not sure what I believed or knew. (That was around the age of 13).
Frighteningly, there may have been another in there somewhere, but I don’t have a clear recollection of another one.
The first was in a Methodist church, the second in a Baptist.
The Catholic Church I now attend received some kind of confirmation of my first baptism from the Methodist Church. I think it was over the phone (no written record that I’m aware of) and they acknowledged that they did do baptisms in the proper form, and that they remembered my family. (It was a very tiny town, and when Dad is an alcoholic who beats on mom a lot, well, people tend to remember in little places like that)
I remember telling my pastor once though, that though I said I was a Christian sometimes, I didn’t really realize what ‘Christian’ meant until I became Catholic.
I don’t think my Priest would even consider a ‘conditional’ baptism.
This is the canon law on conditional baptism, which is used by Catholics:**Can. 869 **
§1. If there is a doubt whether a person has been baptized or whether baptism was conferred validly and the doubt remains after a serious investigation, baptism is to be conferred conditionally.
§2. Those baptized in a non-Catholic ecclesial community must not be baptized conditionally unless, after an examination of the matter and the form of the words used in the conferral of baptism and a consideration of the intention of the baptized adult and the minister of the baptism, a serious reason exists to doubt the validity of the baptism.
§3. If in the cases mentioned in §§1 and 2 the conferral or validity of the baptism remains doubtful, baptism is not to be conferred until after the doctrine of the sacrament of baptism is explained to the person to be baptized, if an adult, and the reasons of the doubtful validity of the baptism are explained to the person or, in the case of an infant, to the parents.
The Sacrament of Baptism confers in addition to Grace, a sacramental character or ‘seal’ on a person’s soul –
an indelible mark – therefore, what is already there, can’t be repeated. It remains forever.
Baptism seals the Christian with this spiritual mark as belonging to Christ - forever. No sin can remove it, but sin can certainly prevent Baptism from bearing the fruits of salvation.
Also, God does not demand that we know everything about Him in order to be in a relationship with Him or to be of the “age of reason” to receive this gift that He offers. Besides even if we grow in our faith, we still would never fully know everything there is to know about God. And,
since we do not know exactly how God’s Grace works, who are we to limit it? God just calls us to be open to His Grace and who is more open than an infant?
There is no actual sin just original sin. There is no guilt or shame just openness. The infant takes on the faith of their parents - the Baptism is made in proxy - but yes there does come a time when the child makes this profession of faith - and hopefully - the parents have brought up their child in the faith to know, love and serve Jesus and His Church.
I think when you speak of re-baptizing, I think you must mean “conversion” - We are in constant need of conversion - it is not a one time thing like our Baptism, which opens the soul to receive God’s Grace and wash away the effects of original sin or actual sin committed if not an infant. That is why Jesus’ Church also has a way to wash away actual committed sin as well, the Sacrament of Confession.
Mark 10:14-16New International Version (NIV)
14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.