Methodist belief on Baptism

I am asking for a friend who asked me, and I want to provide accurate information. No intent to debate here:

What does the Methodist church believe about Baptism/Infant Baptism?

Also, what do they base it on (Tradition/Scripture, etc…)?


One of only 2 Sacraments they hold within the faith. Uses the trinitarian formula and water (common element), which is why it is accepted by the Catholic Church. Here’s a link to the UMC website with some useful information…

I grew up Methodist, so hopefully I have some familiarity with Methodist beliefs.

Traditionally, Methodists believe in baptismal regeneration and practice infant baptism using the correct, Trinitarian formula. The problem is, there is an even worse crisis of orthodoxy in the United Methodist Church (I can’t speak to other Methodist bodies) than in the Catholic Church.

Belief in Original Sin has seemingly become rare, often seen as Catholic thing rather than Protestant (ironic, since Protestantism historically emphasized it more than Catholicism). It’s gotten so bad that I recently read an article in a Methodist magazine by a pastor who praised Pelagius to the sky and criticized St. Augustine’s “Roman” ideas about sin and grace. That’s an extreme case, but it is a symptom something that is widely present in a milder form.

Also, sacramental theology in general seems to be declining, replaced by Evangelical-like focus on personal experience (something which was never absent in Methodism, but used to exist side by side with comparatively orthodox views on things like sin and baptism). Many Methodists today consider the idea that a “ritual” could take away any kind of sin absurd.

Worse, some Methodist baptisms I’ve been present for have tampered with the traditional baptismal formula, saying things like “I baptize you, _____, in the name of God who created you, Jesus who redeemed you, and the Spirit who sanctifies you.” Don’t know if that example would be valid or not, but it is troubling.

Thanks to you both!

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