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Rebaptize after Apostasy?

Rebaptize after Apostasy?

Postby Singalphile » Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:27 pm

I'm not sure where to put this. It's a quick question. If a Christian leaves the faith and subsequently is born again again, should he or she be baptised again?

(I'm assuming this is possible.)

Thank you!
... that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. John 5:23
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Re: Rebaptize after Apostasy?

Postby steve » Tue May 01, 2018 12:52 am

To me, this is like the question: If a wife divorces her husband, when she repents, and returns to her husband, should they have another wedding—or at least renew their vows? Probably.
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Re: Rebaptize after Apostasy?

Postby Homer » Tue May 01, 2018 2:40 pm

Somewhere in one of my books the commentator referenced this verse in answer to the question:

Ephesians 5:14 (NASB)
14. For this reason it says,
“Awake, sleeper,
And arise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you.”

The passage is addressed to a Church, some among them have fallen asleep spiritually, and the Lord can raise them from spiritual death. No need to be born again.
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Re: Rebaptize after Apostasy?

Postby Singalphile » Wed May 02, 2018 11:25 am

Good illustration. Steve. Thanks.

I'm not sure what you mean, Homer. That is an interesting passage. I'm not sure what Paul meant. Apparently, we don't know for sure what he was referencing. I'm not sure what the metaphors (of sleep and of death) were meant to convey.

Whether or not one thinks that one can depart from Christ, I suppose that both camps would rebaptize, since the negative camp would say that the first baptism didn't count since the person was never actually in Christ.
... that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. John 5:23
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Re: Rebaptize after Apostasy?

Postby Homer » Wed May 02, 2018 5:25 pm

I was rebaptized after about 20 years astray. I was uncertain about my baptism as a 15 year old.

As I recall Carl Barth considered it akin to blasphemy; he said God is the chief actor in baptism and to do it again is like saying God failed.
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Re: Rebaptize after Apostasy?

Postby Paidion » Wed May 02, 2018 9:36 pm

My thinking is somewhat like Barth's. Yet it would be most appropriate for the rebel after his repentance and return to the service of Christ, to "renew his vows" as Steve suggests.
I don't think of such a person as needing to be reborn a second time. In the natural order, when a child is born, it cannot become unborn—though it can die. The rebel has died and needs to come to life again.
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