Baptism And Not Sprinkling

By | July 2, 2016

I’m a pastor, doing some baptism studies at the moment, & one person wants to know when & why sprinkling became so popular. any thoughts?

Peter Quinn

In the first two centuries A.D. the sprinkling started with the idea of “Baptismal Regeneration”. If you aren’t familiar with this term it is widely used today in another form by those that say that baptism is necessary for salvation. Such an idea is not backed by scripture. If it were, the thief would have had to leave the cross and be baptized before the Lord could have taken him to paradise. Luke 23:39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. 23:40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 23:41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. 23:42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

The method arose out of convenience also in these same centuries and seems to be retroactive to the baptism of infants. Also it was said that sprinkling could be used for those who were bed ridden and couldn’t step into a pool of water to be baptized. And some historians don’t place this until later centuries. Here is a quote from a short paragraph from Robinson’s Ecclesiastical Researches. “During the first three centuries, congregations all over the East subsisted in separate independent bodies, unsupported by government and consequently without any secular power over one another. All this time they were baptized churches, and though all the fathers of the first four ages, down to Jerome (A.D. 370), were of Greece, Syria and Africa, and though they give great numbers of histories of the baptism of adults, yet there is not one of the baptism of a child till the year 370.” (Compendium of Baptist History, Shackelford, p. 43; Vedder, p. 50; Christian, p, 31; Orchard, p. 50, etc.)

Whenever it came about the method is just not backed by scripture and those that practice this usually also admit this fact.

2 thoughts on “Baptism And Not Sprinkling

  1. Ditto

    While I am a proponent of immersion, I will have to explain this: Back in 1978, I met a man, who was the pastor of a Deaf Christian church and, when I told him I’d been baptized, twice, he went into a rage…He demanded that Paul told us, “one Lord, on Master, one baptism,” which is true.
    However, in 1970, at the age of nine and undrstanding nothing about salvation, I went forward at the altar call in a little baptist church in Milledgeville, GA, where I told the pastor I wanted to be saved. Without telling me anything, he baptized me and I never understood the need to confess our sins, open the door of our heart and invite the Lord in or making Him Master of my life until I was 12 and a Deaf kid at the Georgia School for the Deaf.

    Anyhow, because this same pastor kept demanding that you must be baptized by immersion or you’re not going to make it into Heaven, I told him about a servmon the Rev. Lester Buice preacher, titled “Jesus is Coming Soon.”

    In this sermon, which he said he’d teached the same thing on a USNavy aircraft carrier, three days prior to the invasion of Normandy, explaining that three sailors had prayed to be saved that day and wanted to be baptized. It was funny when he stated that all those many years later, he was humbled to stand before his baptist congre-gation and admit that he’d taken them to the Captiain’s quarters and sprinkled them, using water out of the sink in the bathroom.
    The question I posed to Bob was this: “Are you going to stand here and tell me that those sailors, who never had an opportunity to be dunked, didn’t make it into heaven?”

    To me, baptism by immersion is simply a symbolism that we have been burieed and resurrected from the grave by the ONE Risen Lord, Who, Himself, rose from His tomb.

    Rev. Buice said that two of those sailors died during the invasion

  2. Ditto

    Another thought; I had a friend, in high school, who was Deaf and a member of the Seventh
    Day Adventist church. This guy was already 20, when I met him and entering his Senior year
    in high school.
    One evening, I asked him if he knew the Lord as his Savior and he repeated what somone in
    that SDA church had told him. He said he was saved because of having been baptized and, when
    I questioned why he thought Christ had died, he said, “He died as ransom for your sins.”
    My expereience told me that he was parroting what somoene had told him, so I asked him whata
    he thinks ransom means. When he was unable to answer, I told him it works like this: “Suppose
    I go and hijack a 747, at the Atlanta airport and demand $500,000 ransom for the people, on
    board. The people, from whom I have demanded the money, will likely try to find a way to get
    the hostages off and they may even have to find a way to come up iwht the money as PAYMENT
    for those hostages.
    So, I explained, Jesus died as PAYMENT for our sins.

    Just as is the case, with more and more Deaf people, who have no real understanding of English,
    misinterpret what they THINK they were told and even when they are told the age-old human
    thinking of what people want the Word to say, confusion ensues.
    That’s bad because we’re clearly told, I Cor. 14:33, that God is NOT the Author of confusion and
    the denominational squabble is confusing Deaf people!


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