Must a Baptist be re-baptized even though they say had be baptized for the right purpose?


I was raised in the church of Christ. I am married to someone who was raised in the Baptist church. She has no problem with going to church with me. But she doesn't think that she should be baptized again. She says that she was baptized for the same reason, same way, and confessed Jesus name. Is she scripturally right or wrong? I believe that if one thing is wrong, then the whole thing is wrong, being that this baptism comes through the Baptist religion. Got any thing to help me? I don't believe that a "come as you are" church is what Christ wanted. I've got tons of scriptures that I've showed her but maybe you have got some insight on the situation. This is making it harder and harder to convert people from other denominations because they are trying slowly to get closer and closer to Christ teaching without a complete change.


Strange. My experience is that most denominations are getting farther way from the truth but are caring less whether they are following the truth. That people are trying to get closer should be a cause of rejoicing. "What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice" (Philippians 1:18).

A similar question was asked before, so please read "What authority is there for re-baptism?" first and then I'll address the differences in your own question.

Your wife was a member of a denomination which teaches that baptism has nothing to do with salvation. In the Baptist view baptism only makes you a member of the Baptist church, but salvation comes at the point of faith. However, I know many people who hold views different from those of the denomination they belong to. Therefore, when talking with people I'm careful to ask what they believe and not make assumptions fully on the beliefs of their particular denomination.

I also know that people have such a strong aversion to being wrong that they will often modify their memories of the past to make them match what they currently know is the truth. Thus, when I study with a person about salvation, I will ask near the beginning to describe how they became saved and why they did it. I even have them jot those things down. Then we study the Scriptures and when we are done, I invite them to compare what they now know to what they thought before. However, this isn't available with your wife.

It is possible that despite what the Baptist taught, she understood what baptism truly was for and was baptized for the right reasons. Since it doesn't matter who does the baptism, then I can't say she must be re-baptized -- only she can make that decision. God has put no qualifications on the person doing the baptism.

I've had Baptists come and ask if they can be members of the congregation here. I ask them what they believe is the purpose of baptism. The answer has always been that baptism was an outward sign of an inward grace; that is, it demonstrated that they were already saved. I then point them to what the Bible states and recommend that they become baptized for the right reason, knowing that it saves a person from their sins. But no, they cannot be a member of the congregation while believing and teaching a doctrine not supported by the Scriptures.

However, if I ever run into someone who correctly understood what baptism was for and who stated that is how and why they were baptized, then I would have to accept their word, just as I accept every other Christian at their word. It hasn't happened yet to my knowledge, but it would be how I would recommend handling the situation. If we were lied to, then God will handle the problem. But if they are telling the truth, then I cannot rightly refuse a brother or sister in Christ.