What is the Anglican view of Baptism?

Discussion in 'Sacraments, Sacred Rites, and Holy Orders' started by Lowly Layman, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Nope.
     
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  2. Old Christendom

    Old Christendom Well-Known Member

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    Baptism signifies the regeneration wrought by the Holy Ghost but is not regeneration in and of itself. Not all baptised were by that very fact truly regenerate. "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us." (1 John 2:19)
     
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  3. halleluia

    halleluia Member

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    I have heard many in the TULIP crowd disavow that any connection exists between regeneration and baptism...
     
  4. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    I am not in the "TULIP crowd", but I would for the most part hold to that. I do believe that water baptism is a sign of spiritual baptism and regeneration but that the latter are not produced or brought about by the sign, water baptism.
     
  5. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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    Baptismal theology works the same as Eucharistic theology. Sacraments are visible signs of invisible graces. The sign of baptism is the water, the thing signified is regeneration. In order for the participant to receive the thing signified, he must receive the sign in faith. If an unbeliever receives the bread and wine, he receives not Christ but only the signs of bread and wine, likewise, if a person is presented for baptism and does not believe, he does not receive the thing signified, i.e. he is not regenerate. This is thinking of adults, when an infant is baptized, he is baptized under the faith of the sponsors. Eventually, the infant will have to claim his baptism for himself, when he reaches a point of maturity.
     
  6. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Right, this is identical to my understanding as well. It is what I meant by baptismal regeneration. This is why I asked you what your definition was, because we both believe identically on this issue, while your post above seemed to indicate that there was a difference.
     
  7. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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    My apologies. The problem with "baptismal regeneration" is that it can imply an ex opere operato view of the sacraments, i.e. automatic regeneration, irregardless of the faith of the participant. This view is not okay as per the theology of the Articles. It's really a problem of terminology.
     
  8. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Yes exactly. We can uncontroversially say that according to the teaching of the Church, regeneration takes place at baptism. Furthermore, faith plays a role and regeneration isn't automatic. This doctrine is clearly specified in the doctrines approved by the church.

    If the only thing people mean by 'baptismal regeneration' is that 'regeneration takes place at baptism', then we can agree to accept the term 'baptismal regeneration'.
     
  9. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with this; this is my view.
     
  10. Symphorian

    Symphorian Well-Known Member

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    Baptism signifies and effects spiritual cleansing: 'death unto sin and new birth unto righteousness' through incorporation into the Body of Christ, the Church. Baptism stands at the beginning of the Christian journey and signifies a state of salvation which is only fully reached through the whole process of life. The New Testament reminds us that there is a paradox: Christians are described as washed, sanctified, glorious or seated with Christ but we are also required to be worthy in our Christian vocation and the NT reminds us that the evil powers of the world are still at work within us.

    Whether or not a baptised person becomes a worthy member of Christ's Body depends on godparents and other members of the Church carrying out their duty and whether the baptised person then takes up the duties and responsibilities which membership involves.
     
  11. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    I notice you used the words "membership", "duties", "responsibilities". Where is "faith"? Without that, the rest is of no consequence; indeed, without faith, the person is not a Christian no matter how much water has been applied to him/her.
     
  12. Aaytch Barton

    Aaytch Barton Active Member

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    Can someone please tell me where the Articles or the BCP "exhaustively" defines or supports baptismal generation. I think I missed that one.
     
  13. Symphorian

    Symphorian Well-Known Member

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    There is a defect in this line of thought. The unbaptised cannot remain ignorant of water baptism which is a Dominical Sacrament. By omitting this they are treating as a matter of indifference an ordinance of the NT which the Church has considered vital from the start.
     
  14. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    Which is more important and vital: having the reality of which water baptism attests even without the water, or having the water yet without the reality to which the water attests?
     
  15. Symphorian

    Symphorian Well-Known Member

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    Neither should be sacrificed for the other.

    St Augustine in De Baptismo says something to the effect that 'many who seem to be within are without, and many who seem to be without are within'.
     
  16. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    I have no trouble agreeing with any of that.
     
  17. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    You sound as if you presuppose that it is faith plus water baptism that saves, whereas I believe and I believe scripture teaches that it is faith alone. And rebirth of the soul is conditioned on coming to faith in Jesus, not on an outward ritual. All who come to faith in Jesus are spiritually reborn and baptized by that Spirit into Christ's Body the Church, whether water has been applied to the person or not.

    If spiritual baptism and regeneration is produced by application of water, we'd all best go to the neighborhood with a long hose and spray the community using the name of the Trinity! And do so posthaste!
     
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  18. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    There's no need to be so cheeky. Just spraying people against their will while invoking the Trinity is assault, not baptism.

    So, the only question I can ask is: what's the point of Baptism, if it has zero actual effects? It's merely a sign? If so, it's a pretty useless one since it doesn't remain but is gone as soon as the water drains away.
     
  19. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    But we believe that water baptism without the consent of infants is perfectly acceptable....why not the rest of the neighborhood?
     
  20. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, didn't mean it that way; it was meant mostly as humor -- should have added the smiley. :)

    In my Baptist days, I would have said it is a sign/symbol only, but I would never have said it is merely so -- especially if immersion is used. I can now say that I believe it is a sacrament, but I stay away from the Catholic or even Lutheran position as well as the Zwinglian "symbol only" one. I like what the Article says about it: "Faith is confirmed, and Grace increased by virtue of prayer unto God."
     
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