Super Duper Sprinkling Baptism


#1

Hey,

I’m finally getting around to discussing some things about baptism with a beloved family member who is dogmatic “Baptism by Immersion Only.”

Ok, since I will probably convert soon (to RC), I want to be “True To Trent,” which I think we can all agree is important, and I know by the Trent Catechism, I’m safe here, saying that all 3 modes (Sprinkling, Pouring, and Immersion) are all valid as far as modes go.

So, this matter is hindering further discussion. You know, get the little stuff out of the way first. So, I’m not going to argue, as some Presbyterians would, that only sprinkling is right, rather I want to Biblically defend sprinkling and pouring, against immersion only. I’m convinced by simple things, that sprinkling or pouring portray the “effects” of baptism (or what Baptism is to signify, if you will) at least as well as immersion does. And that in the early church (ie NT days) sprinkling was practiced, and that baptism was typified by “sprinkling” things in the OT, and that the NT Greek word “baptiso” can’t always mean “immersed.”

So, I’m actually studying up on this, and not having many Catholic sources for this, I’m turning to good ol’ presbyterian sources. But I suppose you Catholics may have a few unique suggestions to add.

Please share.


#2

We see in the New Testament the apostles baptizing folks in their homes.
It doesn’t say they marched them to the river and immersed them.
It doesn’t say they completely immersed them in some backyard dunking booth or bathtub.

So - it is quite possible these people may have been “sprinkled” in their homes.

But catholics don’t rely on scripture alone. We also rely on the tradition handed down to the Church through the ages.
We believe the Holy Spirit guides the Church in these matters - so it’s a tough sell for someone who wants explicit “proof” from scripture.


#3

[quote=Reformed Rob]Hey,

I’m finally getting around to discussing some things about baptism with a beloved family member who is dogmatic “Baptism by Immersion Only.”

Ok, since I will probably convert soon (to RC), I want to be “True To Trent,” which I think we can all agree is important, and I know by the Trent Catechism, I’m safe here, saying that all 3 modes (Sprinkling, Pouring, and Immersion) are all valid as far as modes go.

So, this matter is hindering further discussion. You know, get the little stuff out of the way first. So, I’m not going to argue, as some Presbyterians would, that only sprinkling is right, rather I want to Biblically defend sprinkling and pouring, against immersion only. I’m convinced by simple things, that sprinkling or pouring portray the “effects” of baptism (or what Baptism is to signify, if you will) at least as well as immersion does. And that in the early church (ie NT days) sprinkling was practiced, and that baptism was typified by “sprinkling” things in the OT, and that the NT Greek word “baptiso” can’t always mean “immersed.”

So, I’m actually studying up on this, and not having many Catholic sources for this, I’m turning to good ol’ presbyterian sources. But I suppose you Catholics may have a few unique suggestions to add.

Please share.
[/quote]

Ananias baptized St. Paul at his house. Acts 9.18,19 “And immediately something like scales fail from his eyes and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized, and took food and was strengthened”. Okay R.Bob. If you can tell me how immersion comes into play in these verses, I’ll join your presbyterian friends.


#4

[quote=Yaegel]Ananias baptized St. Paul at his house. Acts 9.18,19 “And immediately something like scales fail from his eyes and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized, and took food and was strengthened”. Okay R.Bob. If you can tell me how immersion comes into play in these verses, I’ll join your presbyterian friends.
[/quote]

Hi Yae, Sounds to me like Ananais was baptised in the Holy Spirit by the laying of hands. :confused: God Bless


#5

This is somewhat of a problem for me too. My brother had joined a bible-only independant church, a springoff of Rod Parsleys church. This church is pretty extreme and I am working on getting him to see more the Catholic point of view. The problem for him is he doesn’t care what anyone says just what his pastor says. He kinda just shuts down and stops listening if I start to make too much sense.
Anyways, I too am looking for more ammo in explaining the greek work baptizo. He wont look at history, and doesn’t care what the early christians did. He is stuck on saying baptizo means to immerse completely so even if I am right in baptizing my kids and accepting the Catholic Church it is still invalid if you aren’t immersed completely.
Thank you for the commentary on Acts, Paul rising and being baptized is good.
I just baptized my kids and now he and his family wont come to my house. It might take a little bit of time with him.


#6

[quote=SPOKENWORD]Hi Yae, Sounds to me like Ananais was baptised in the Holy Spirit by the laying of hands. :confused: God Bless
[/quote]

Not exactly. In the early Church, baptism and confirmation were not done separately as they are today. Baptism of the Holy Spirit is still a water baptism. We can see this in Jn 3:5 very clearly. In fact, all the gospels teach this very clearly. When we see the Holy Spirit descend upon Christ in His baptism, we see the perfect illustration of being “born from above of water and spirit”. However, in Acts, the placing of hands for the Holy Spirit is what we would consider Confirmation. This is not baptism which presupposes water. That is just common sensical.


#7

[quote=Yaegel]Ananias baptized St. Paul at his house. Acts 9.18,19 “And immediately something like scales fail from his eyes and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized, and took food and was strengthened”. Okay R.Bob. If you can tell me how immersion comes into play in these verses, I’ll join your presbyterian friends.
[/quote]

Yaegel,

Maybe you didn’t get the intent of my post.

I’m not arguing for immersion only.

Rather, I’m arguing against immersion only

I’m Presbyterian, Presbyterians have by tradition, our understanding of Scripture, viewed baptism as being properly done by sprinkling or pouring. Not by immersion. You can join my presbyterian friends and keep your sprinkling baptism mode. That’s what we want, sprinkling!! Not immersion!


#8

[quote=scylla]This is somewhat of a problem for me too. My brother had joined a bible-only independant church, a springoff of Rod Parsleys church.
[/quote]

Hey, if you want to take a little time on this issue in particular, here are 3 links that I am using.

Real short
Well, I put the webpage in, and it comes up to another document now. I’ll email it to you what I had printed out. Gotta help ya out, and this one is real concise and to the point.

Pretty short, and overall great baptism.org.uk/UFCOSMode.htm

Like 25 pages, but excellent apuritansmind.com/Baptism/MillerSamuelInfantBaptismDiscourses3-4.htm


#9

Dear Reformed Rob,

I don’t know if you know this or not–according to Canon Law (#854), baptism is to be done by immersion or pouring. Sprinkling is considered to be illicit but valid according to the Rite of Baptism. The rationale is that sprinkling does not convey “washing” very well and to be washed is a very important part of the symbol.


#10

This websight serves as a wealth of info regarding baptism:

Guidebook for Baptism

Dig in!!

Peace in Christ…Salmon


#11

[quote=SPOKENWORD]Hi Yae, Sounds to me like Ananais was baptised in the Holy Spirit by the laying of hands. :confused: God Bless
[/quote]

Does the bible tell us anything about Ananais’ baptism?

Saint Paul was neither confirmed nor baptized when Ananais laid his hands on Saul. He was healed of his blindness. Saint Paul was baptized (and probably confirmed) in verse 18b.


#12

A Presbyterian converting to Catholicism? Charles Hodge must be rolling in his Princeton cemetery grave.

:whistle:


#13

[quote=Br. Dan, OCD]Dear Reformed Rob,

I don’t know if you know this or not–according to Canon Law (#854), baptism is to be done by immersion or pouring. Sprinkling is considered to be illicit but valid according to the Rite of Baptism. The rationale is that sprinkling does not convey “washing” very well and to be washed is a very important part of the symbol.
[/quote]

Ok, thanks. Thats interesting. I did not know that.

Salmon, that was a great link, I read some of it, will keep in mind where it is.


#14

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.