SIL being "re-baptized" in a Baptist church


I need advice on how to tactfully handle this situation.

DH informed me the other day that his nephew and his mom are being baptized this sunday at his family’s baptist church.

SIL was baptized in the Catholic Church as an infant and as far as I know made it through her religious instruction to her First Communion. Other than that, I don’t believe she really received any real instruction from her mom. When she met my BIL, her head was filled with the common bull and she jumped ship for his church.

This is the same church that “re-baptized” two of my Catholic cousins…something that just makes me very angry.

I don’t know if DH is going to ask me to attend this “baptism” but I DO NOT want to go and I don’t know how to tactfully get out of it if DH asks me to go. I feel like I have to reciprocate because BIL and SIL attended DD’s First Communion party last weekend and gave her a card, even though I’m sure they adamently do not agree with the occasion. But they came anyway.

I feel as a matter of manner’s that I am expected to at least give them a card. Which is fine for my nephew because he really is being baptized, but it would be rude to omit a card for SIL and I refuse to buy a card for someone making a formal act of leaving the Catholic Church.

UGH…what do I do? I need to keep peace in this family but this “re-baptizing” of these Catholics in my life by the same church is really offensive to me. :mad:


This is tough. I would be angry, too.
What does your DH say? Does he want to go?
Attending a child’s First Communion in the church the child was baptised into is a lot different from going to the “re-baptizating” ceremony of an adult, a former Catholic, IMO.


DH hasn’t really said anything, other than telling me about the baptism is on Sunday. I don’t know if he plans going. Even if he does, I have a good excuse because I have to go to Mass anyways, but what if they have a party afterwards? How do I get out of that? Jacob and I are sick right now and I almost hope we’re still sick this weekend…and I’m going to make sure to send the older kids to my mom’s for the weekend…

ETA I guess my dilemma is that I feel like I want to acknowledge my nephew’s baptism with a card at least, but there’s no way I am buying a card for my SIL and it would be considered very rude not to.


Baptists tend NOT to have the kind of Baptismal celebration that we have as Catholics. Chances of a party are very slim.

I could not go to such a mockery, SIL is already baptized - many prayers for you!

The nephew, will, if it is Trinitarian it will be a real baptism for him. Perhaps you could send him a small religious gift and a card?


I wouldn’t go. Honestly, it is, as kage_ar said, a mockery, a sacrilege if I may say so.
Send your nephew a card if you think so, but there is nimply no occasion now for sending your SIL a card! There is nothing to celebrate, she is baptised already, what she is having this weekend is not baptism.


Mass comes first. If you’re “lucky”, Mass will coincide with the “re-baptism” :rolleyes: and you won’t have to make the choice. If there IS a celebration afterwards (which I doubt, since baptism in the Baptist faith is a symbolic, not sacramental event), you could go for your nephew. Bring him a card, gift, etc. Baptists recognize the Trinity, so his baptism would be valid.

As a Catholic, your SIL’s “re-baptism” is a non-event, and should be treated as such, as we believe that valid baptism creates a permanent mark on the soul, and can’t be “re-done”. The theological implications of her decision are another matter, best left for another time.

Personally, I would concentrate on the positives- the baptism of your nephew, and leave the commentary on the negative for private, or if solicited. When my SIL was “re-baptised” (from Presbyterian to a non-denom), she felt VERY strongly about it, and was unwilling to discuss it at all. I have realized that it’s more effective to share the fullness of the Catholic Church with her in different areas. As she is more willing to listen, I am able to broach more topics.

Best of luck,


Masondoggy, I think you need to keep this in the proper perspective. The greater offense is that some Catholics in your family leave the Catholic Church, not that the Baptist are baptizing them. I bet they probably left the Catholic Church mentally well before this Baptist church evangelized them. This local Baptist church is only doing what Baptists do–they baptize. They don’t see Baptism in the same way we do–some even “re-baptize” their fellow Baptists upon entrance into their particular community.

While you probably shouldn’t go to the ceremony and can’t celebrate their leaving the Catholic Church, perhaps you can consider these as little detours on their road of faith. Many people here on this forum left the Catholic Church at one point, only to return later. Your nephew’s baptism is a *good *thing, but as Baptists don’t typically baptize people until they are older, I suspect this also means your SIL has neglected his faith and her own for many years. Catholics believe babies can be baptized, and I think her being “re-baptized” demonstrates she only had a “baby” faith in the first place. Pray that God will help her faith grow and that she will one day return to the Catholic Church as a mature Christian.

I recommend you read the book Search and Rescue by Patrick Madrid. (Sold here at CA bookstore–free shipping with donation to CA.) He offers some good suggestions on dealing with family members who stray from the Church. And if you really think that your SIL will be offended if you don’t give her a card, you could have a Mass said for her and give her the Mass card with a note something like, “special prayers for you on this day.”


I completely agree with you. I can’t help but be irritated at the whole thing…just because I’m tired of these churches drawing weak Catholics in and loading them with their line of bull. This same church offered my nephew a “treat” if he brought my kids to church with him. :mad:

Ok, all that aside, my biggest dilemma is tactfully getting out of going to this occasion if DH wants me to go without disrupting peace in the family. I don’t want to come across as rude, but I also won’t sacrifice my beliefs either.


Does your husband know this? I cannot imagine he would insist that you go in such circumstances.


I don’t know if he knows or not. He probably wouldn’t think anything of it though.


I am really sorry to hear about this. I know I would not attend, no matter how uncomfortable it would be to refrain. (unless your husband is violent or abusive if enraged- then I would consider going but sitting in the back, or lobby area and not saying a word. The entire time saying the Rosary and praying for the Lords mercy -that this horrible thing is happening, a Catholic leaving the Church.:frowning:
Dont try to make up a story. Tell your husband why this is an affront. I will try to look up relavent CCC paragraphs here(unless he wont listen anyway) or tell him you will cry the entire time its going on and you dont want to disrupt the service and draw attention to yourself like that. :wink:


Many churches or sunday schools offer kids a prize if they bring a guest/visitor. Heck, our CYM had a contest for the teen who brought the most first time visitors in a month. I’d not see that as a real issue - just have your kids say “no thanks” to being a visitor.


Has anyone ever heard the saying “dont take candy from strangers”?

Luring kids with candy or anything they want is sick.


I’m sure if you just explain your husband that your conscience does not allow you to go, he won’t insist. It is a sin to force anybody to do anything against his conscience, and whatever his denomination, he must know this.
Don’t be afraid in advance of being forced to go, I’m sure if you just tell him honestly about your problem with this, without judging his sister, he won’t be offended. He should respect you for standing up for your faith.


I realize many churches do this. I do have a problem with it though. They are basically bribing children to bring in “fresh meat” for them to evangalize. The problem is these are minors and they have no right taking someone else’s child (who is Catholic) and trying to fill their head with crud about the religion their parents are teaching them. Which is exactly what this particular church does.

It just doesn’t sit well with me.


it’s one thing to not agree with a religion, but to speak with disrepect…

eta: would you feel the same way if a catholic child would try to get a baptist child to go to mass


I wouldn’t have a problem with it if they respected the faith that the kids were being raised in by their parents. But this particular church doesn’t. They take it upon themselves to make sure the kid leaves there doubting the Catholic faith. That’s wrong.

Now if I thought I could let my kids go there and our Catholic Faith would be respected I would have no problem with it…after all, it is our Christian duty to evangalize and there’s nothing wrong with them doing that.

Now, if for some reason I took my nephew to Mass with me, I’m quite sure not a negative word regarding his Baptist church would ever be mentioned.


Oh. Well then crud it is. I don’t like people trying to change peoples beliefs. My bad, carry on. :wink:

(sorry. Although I’m not a practicing baptist, it’s still a part of me)


I can sympathtize with your situation. My sister also left the Church about 15 years ago. She was raised a Catholic and baptized as an infant. Her church, a huge non-denonminational church of Binny Hinn, told her that she was never baptized and needed to be and so she rebaptized. The good thing, if there is in this situation, she knew how the rest of us felt and therefore did not invite us to her rebaptism. It was just her and her now husband and his family who attended it.

About this baptist church… I too have had an experience that resembles yours. I met a Baptist Deacon who was my physical therapist and when he found out I was a Catholic, made it his mission to pull me away from the Church. He invited me to his church and I went one night only to hear an ex-nun speak terribly about the CAtholic Church. I walked out and he followed me and I made it clear that that was not worshipping but criticizing another religion. He gave me a huge book to read, which I never did, for it was all anti-Catholic. Where I had two sisters who left the Church when challenged, I had to research my Faith and see if it was the one True Church. I found it be so and stayed a Catholic. This baptist friend would not let go and told me that it is the job of every Baptist to pull Catholics away from their church for we were all going to hell. This same man told me that Mother Teresa would go to hell for she was going good works to get to Heaven. He did not know what he was saying. He also told me that his church has many Baptist in our Catholic Church. He said they act as Catholic and go to Mass on Sunday and teach CCD and other classes, but are Baptist and “help” us see the light. That got me so angry and could be why we have some Catholic who teach things that are the opposite of what we believe. I did have to tell this man that we had Jesus in common and if he could not cease from talking about the Catholic church, that we could not talk at all. He stopped shortly after that.

I would not go to the re-baptism and explain to your dh how it makes you feel.


Oh my goodness, that is infuriating! Especially going after a CCD class! See, this is what makes me furious is people thinking that they have some God given right to interfere with the religion that a parent teaches their child! My MIL has done this several times to my kids, taking them behind my back and telling them it’s “mean to pray to Mary” etc… I would never DREAM of taking my nephew aside and telling him how I feel about his baptist religion!!


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