The word of the Lord ought not to be hidden by any: in like manner, too, baptism, which is equally God's property, can be administered by all. On Baptism (Chap. XVII: Of the Power of Conferring Baptism) by Tertullian (Ft. Laura Nasrallah & Rev. S. Thelwall)

JAccording to Tertullian’s writting baptism can be administered by all. What are some of the different interpretations by the different Christian traditions today?

  • Sacraments are ‘holy things’ and not necessarily enjoined to be performed by those in holy orders or under special certification. In the Protestant tradition, for the most part, it is only Baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Communion, Eucharist) that are considered sacraments. The rationale for this is that they were either practiced or commanded by Christ.
    John the Baptist only had credentials from God. Jesus command about Communion was simply that all should do it in remembrance of Him. I find no problem in what is suggested here.

  • In the Roman Catholic confession, when the priest is baptizing the infant (or the child or the adult) he adresses her/him as ‘priest, prophet and king’ as an image of Jesus Christ, which is a cristologic formula called ‘tria munera Christi’ (the three offices and gifts — both meanings — of Christ) never found together in the works of the theologians and Fathers of the Church, but introduced much later by the reformer Jean Calvin and adopted by Lutherians and Catholics.

  • Various Christian groups have divided themselves into a hierarchy of clergy which is separate from laity and having special duties (like baptism) that only they can do as a priest or minister.
    God’s Word in the Bible says all believers have direct access to God without the need for an intermediary priest. In fact we are now all called priests…
    “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
    “To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (Revelation 1:5-6)

Ailsa: There was some fear that laymen may assume the function of bishop. A true observation that “emulations of episcopal office is the mother of schisms.” It didn’t take long for power to corrupt.

We also have to recognize that there are some branches of the Christian church today who do not practice baptism but believe in the “sacramental life”. The sacraments being an outward sign of an inner experience it begs to determine whether baptism is truly a mandate for inclusion in the ekklesia. There are countless NT examples of people who experienced a saving grace through faith and there is no record of them being baptized.

This video is processing – it'll appear automatically when it's done.

Show other contributors +

February 4th, 2014

Hierarchies are man-made and not of God!

March 4th, 2014

Believer’s baptism is taught in the New Testament as being a symbol or a picture of what has happened in the life of the person who by faith has believed in Jesus Christ and been saved by His grace. It is an illustration of what that has taken place in the new believer’s heart which cannot be outwardly observed when a person is saved. Baptism is further a testimony by which the new Christian gives public testimony that they have believed in Jesus Christ and have been born again. Through baptism the new convert is joining, identifying themselves as Christians, and becoming a member of a local New Testament church. There are several aspects of baptism:

February 9th, 2014

Baptism is from God, not man.

Add a suggestion

Beside these, even laymen have the right; for what is equally received can be equally given. Unless bishops, or priests, or deacons, be on the spot, other disciples are called i.e. to the work. On Baptism (Chap. XVII: Of the Power of Conferring Baptism) by Tertullian (Ft. Laura Nasrallah & Rev. S. Thelwall)

The personal qualities of the baptizer do not alter or affect the effectiveness of the baptism. The one who actually does the baptizing does not need any particular qualifications. It does matter, however, that he do it Scripturally (for the right reason, in the right way, saying only Scriptural things, according to Jesus' baptism formula) ‘even laymen’: Is it still true nowadays in some confession? –

It is interesting that even although there were bishops, presbyters and deacons, yet laymen were also allowed to baptize. Thus there was nothing magical in baptism. Its meaning was unaffected by the person doing the baptizing. It was a public expression of faith and new life in Christ.

Anyone who is Baptised can baptise if there is no priest available to conduct the ‘ceremony’ (which term I use advisedly, as it is now often more ceremonial than statement)

“Even laymen” — that is interesting — it must have been a much more democratic and egalitarian church then,

This is not outwith the current teaching of modern day Roman Catholic church. It is preferable to have a bishop or priest baptize, however it is not imperative. If there was an emergency and a person needed to be baptized, any person of the Roman Catholic church has the authority to baptize that person. For example; a mother could baptize her own child if it was event that death was impending and there was not a priest available. It is clear from this writing that it is preferably done by a priest.

Baptism confers the right of Christian initiation on the believer. In the Catholic Church Baptism in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit announces the person to become Priest, Prophet and King and becomes a member of the Body of Christ. This can be performed by any other baptised person because they are already a member of the Body of Christ and are themselves Priest, Prophet and King. Mostly of course the normal practice is to have it formally performed by a priest and is often conducted during the Sunday Mass Liturgy.

Orthodox use complete imersion but exist emergency procedures in which you can baptize even with sand in desert.

This video is processing – it'll appear automatically when it's done.

Show other contributors +

Lagosseline
March 5th, 2014

The concept of universal priesthood! All believers are priests.

March 4th, 2014

Terttulian is telling us that Baptism is a very special gift from the Almighty God through which we are BORN AGAIN in union with our Lord Jesus Christ.

As such, it is the honoured opinion of Terttulian that since Baptism acts as our first step that BRIDGES us with Christ, so it be given the most deserving reverence so as to be administered by the Chief Priest himself — Bishop.

However, he gives lee way that ONLY in very uniquely special circumstances (a person is about to die as he or she wishes to be united with Christ before cutting off the last breath) that any Christian in the vicinity may be allowed to administer Baptismal.

This is an old time practice and traditions of the church that has since lived on from generation to generation on how and who is to conduct it in a Christian church.

canena's photo

248

February 27th, 2014

In the Catholic Church,any baptized or non-baptized person can baptize another (in cases where priest is not available) as long as it is done by pouring the water over the head, and saying the following words: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”.

February 10th, 2014

“….as long as the baptism is complete immersion in water (Romans 6:4; Acts 8:38),…”.

If this is so, then why so many churches baptise without doing the “complete immersion in water”?

Add a suggestion

On account of the honour of the Church, which being preserved, peace is preserved. On Baptism (Chap. XVII: Of the Power of Conferring Baptism) by Tertullian (Ft. Laura Nasrallah & Rev. S. Thelwall)

Tertullianus writes that no action should be without the bishop’s authority, so as to preserve the peace in the church (the members and those in authority).If we keep the divisions from pulling the church apart it will preserve the peace .in turn honouring the church as a whole .everone is a part of the church and serve a purpose

This video is processing – it'll appear automatically when it's done.

Show other contributors +

In the next place, the presbyters and deacons, yet not without the bishop's authority, On Baptism (Chap. XVII: Of the Power of Conferring Baptism) by Tertullian (Ft. Laura Nasrallah & Rev. S. Thelwall)

In earlier letters there is a call for unity. There is a line of Authority within the ekklesia, that is, the Bishop, the presbyters then deacons even to the elder in order of decreasing authority.

Bishops, presbyters and deacons, are the three sacred orders in the Catholic Church.

This video is processing – it'll appear automatically when it's done.

Show other contributors +

mjb881's photo

840

February 7th, 2014

Awwww! Sorry I did not mean to have above post capitalized ,,,, blame my I pad. ,!
The I pad, not the devil, made me do it, I swear !! :)

Add a suggestion

Of giving it, the chief priest (who is the bishop) has the right: On Baptism (Chap. XVII: Of the Power of Conferring Baptism) by Tertullian (Ft. Laura Nasrallah & Rev. S. Thelwall)

By the time of Tertullian, Baptism has become ritualized in the emerging new Christian orthodoxy. We can also see the difference in thought from the story of Paul and Thecla in the Acts of Paul, where Thecla (a Saint in the some of the Churches) baptizes herself. Different communities in early Christianity had developed different views on baptism and the position of women within the Church. Tertullian defends the emerging orthodoxy.

This line indicates that by this time there is quite an established hierarchy in the church.

Further in the text, we see that he says “Even laymen have the right,” which is more in line with Pauline Christianity.

Differences among Churches today:

  • This is broadly in line with modern Catholic canon law. However in practice most baptisms are performed by parish priests.
    In the Roman Catholic canon, only the confirmation (when girls and boys are about 13-15, provided they were already baptized and have made their declaration of faith or statement of belief when about 12) is due to be done by the bishop or the archbishop. Most of the time baptism is done by the vicar of the parish.

  • As already said, everything had become ritualised by the time of Tertullian (200 CE). This seems to be very quick. There is not clear Biblical note that Jesus baptise anyone. During the time of Paul there was considerable debate about the appropriate way to follow Jesus. Our traditional Christian churches have inherited a system of rules which were in many cases decided upon a long time ago (including about baptism). This leads me to wonder if this was the action of God’s spirit, or the way that human power structures maintain control through the ages.

  • Baptism by a layman in the Roman Catholic Church
    (1) A layman might baptized during an emergency. It is a water baptism. Because it is now or never, the leyman is given the power, through the community, to baptize.
    (2) If the person survives the emergency then a church baptism is required
    (3) a baptism is not only water
    —(a) Water as the spring of cleansing
    —(b) Exorcism-we must renounce Satan [the god parents do this in lieu of the baby-if its a baby, lets stick to that] then we are no longer enemies of God
    —© Holy oil -the third step is the priest uses holy oil to annoint. this oil comes from Easter blessing [for the entire next year] the Bishop performs Easter day.
    this binds the person to the family of God "

Bishops Authority in Catholic Church:

  • (1) All priests and deacon receive power through the Bishop, that is why they must obey him [as the church] in all church matters

  • (2) Exorcism’s may only be done by an assigned priest, by the Bishop. this can be the most casual thing like ‘Hey fr john, you’ll be our exorcist, Ill send you to Rome for training later..“ then the priest receives the protection of the church and power …each diososis has an exorcist.

  • (3) Bishops are the Apostles, good or bad, they have authority, for example only the Pope can take a priest out of his priesthood or allow him to leave via personal pleas from the priest.

Tertullian
“no single person or saint has all the right statements; neither Augustine nor Ignatius nor Irenaeus nor Jerome.” The thing about Tertullian is he left the church over a doctrine, not agreeing with it. So obedience to the Bishop is a sign of sainthood, Tertullian is not a saint, esp for this reason. {it may be of interest that Acquinas was excommunicated by the Bishop of Paris [later rescinded] Aquinas submitted being always obedient. }. Tertullian was a formidable person very educated. The second thing about him was his anti Athens/jewish connection- the opposite of Augustine and Aquinas. He did not believe philosophy was a good thing, rather it was a cause of heresay. The Catholic church is the most ‘intellectual’ institution of any religion, and his lawyer mind took over his discernment it seems, theology in the catholic church is very much strung together via philosophy [Luther did not like this, but he, unfortunetly never heard of Aquinas so was mis led through Ignorance]

“New Advent” is a source you might explore for more details, the Catholic encyclopedia alone has many pages on Baptism, the code of cannon law has all kinds of detail as well, and the New [and wonderful] catechism of the Catholic church has enough I think to explain this all…..because the authority of the bishop is part of your question, Baptism [and all the sacraments] comes from the Holy Spirit, the church is the Incarnation [remember the old testament has no Holy Spirit, this is because the spirit could not ‘land’ until someone paid for the sins , to the Father —see Acts where Jesus Ascends and his words] the cross paid the sins and the Spirit descended upon the Apostles [thus the Catholic ‘succession’ of Bishops all through History right to Pope Francis]

This video is processing – it'll appear automatically when it's done.

Show other contributors +

RickH's photo

451

March 1st, 2014

True baptism is of the Spirit, inward and unseen. Physical baptism means nothing without the reality of the spirit. (John 3:5, 1 John 5:6) So the notion that only certain ones can perform physical baptism under certain circumstances makes no sense.

March 1st, 2014

I believe that there is an order in the Church as to who can do what and when, before any of the workers in the church can do any sacred ceremony, they would have already gone through different training that would have prepared them, because the leader of the Church will always need some assistance, but whoever perform such ceremony, will be under the direction of the leader.

Add a suggestion

For concluding our brief subject, it remains to put you in mind also of the due observance of giving and receiving baptism. On Baptism (Chap. XVII: Of the Power of Conferring Baptism) by Tertullian (Ft. Laura Nasrallah & Rev. S. Thelwall)

It is hard to dispute that since very early among the followers of Jesus, the rite of Baptism was central to being admitted to the ekklesia communities.

While arguments of biblical interpretation pro and con baptism being necessary for salvation have ensued, the prevalent mention of Baptism in the New Testament writings and Apostolic Fathers writings indicate its importance as a rite of acceptance among early Christian communities.

Terullian concerning whether sins committed subsequent to baptism may be forgiven, He calls baptism and penance “two planks” on which the sinner may be saved from shipwreck—language which he gave to the Church (De penitentia, xii).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tertullian

This video is processing – it'll appear automatically when it's done.

Show other contributors +

March 11th, 2014

I agree since my birth name is Giovanni Battista

February 5th, 2014

Concerning Baptism, there had to be an order to things. There was enough confusion from varying beliefs concerning Baptism, resurrection of the dead, ceremonial law, amongst the ekklesia in general. Therefore, the more confusion that could be suppressed or alleviated the better. Terullian’s view concerning whether sins committed subsequent to baptism may be forgiven, He calls baptism and penance “two planks” on which the sinner may be saved from shipwreck—language which he gave to the Church (De penitentia, xii). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tertullian

Add a suggestion

I am defeated and I gladly wear the crown Emmylou by First Aid Kit

A Christian image of “defeat”: Jesus was forced to wear a crown of thorns leading up to his crucifixion.

This video is processing – it'll appear automatically when it's done.

Show other contributors +

When we first met
I was glad to be your pet
Like a Lab I once had that we called Maisie
Labrador by Aimee Mann

Here metaphor and reality intersect. The speaker is like a Labrador, but it also becomes apparent that the former lovers once owned a specific labrador named “Maisie.”

In this section, the dog metaphor hinges on the use of the word “pet.” They had a pet labrador, but the speaker also acted like a pet with her lover.

This video is processing – it'll appear automatically when it's done.

Show other contributors +

And I run
When the gun
Drops the dove again
Labrador by Aimee Mann

Labradors are in fact “gun dogs,” trained for bird hunting. The original English Labradors were bred for duck hunting.

For the speaker in the song, this running at the gun is a metaphor for the loyalty she possessed as a lover.

This video is processing – it'll appear automatically when it's done.

Show other contributors +

But I came back for more
And you laughed in my face and you rubbed it in
Cause I'm a Labrador
Labrador by Aimee Mann

The central metaphor of the song is that the speaker is like a dog in the relationship she is in. Though she is treated poorly, she still comes back for more.

The laughing in the face of and rubbing it in here have two meanings, the playful meaning of how one might treat a dog, and the harsher human laughing and rubbing it in of cruel treatment.

This video is processing – it'll appear automatically when it's done.

Show other contributors +