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The Mexican Reformed Church and Their Misunderstanding of Baptism

Long ago in the history of the church came the famous persecution of the church. An event where of thousands of Christians died. So much that when people were threatened with death they would abandon their faith altogether. One of the problems that arose from this event was the issue of baptism. If you were baptized by a pastor and then he apostatized (left the faith) would you need to be re-baptized? After much debate the church rightly concluded that the validity of the baptism was in the person who actually baptized the Christian. Was it the man that baptized them or was it God? The church rightly understood that baptism is not man speaking but God speaking. Thus, the baptism remains effective irregardless of the faithfulness of the man but based on the faithfulness of God.
Today I went to Tijuana, Mexico. I visited with a pastor there who is Reformed and asked him if he accepted the baptism of those who converted from Romanism (Roman Catholics). He responded saying that the presbytery had decided that these people would have to be baptized because the fist baptism wasn’t valid. They consider the first baptism in-valid because it was done in a Roman Catholic church.
As the Mexican Presbytery is working through this issue I pray they will read up on their church history and understand that the holy catholic (universal church) has already dealt with this issue historically. Baptism is of the Lord. We are in by His faithfulness not the faithfulness of the ordained man who administered it.


2 Comments

  1. RubeRad says:

    See also here, where this question is debated.

    Basically, the argument on the other side has nothing to do with the piety of the R.C. priest who baptizes, but everything to do with the validity of his office as a purported minister of the gospel. Is he “lawfully ordained” as required by WCF 27.4?

    • Trey Jasso says:

      I would then look to Scripture and see if there is someone who performed the circumcision or baptism even though they were not a valid officer. In Exodus 4 we see that Zipporah, was a female, performs circumcision on the sons of Moses to turn the wrath of God from Moses because he had not circumcised his sons.

      Exod 4:24 At a lodging place on the way the LORD met him and sought to put him to death.
      Exod 4:25 Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it and said, “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!”
      Exod 4:26 So he let him alone. It was then that she said, “A bridegroom of blood,” because of the circumcision.

      Historically I would look at Calvin himself who refused to be (re)baptized. And historically the Reformed Church has recognized the RC baptism as valid. The American Reformed Churches however have not. I find this interesting and I am sympathetic with their reasons not to see RC baptisms valid but am not convinced.

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