BAPTISM - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Calvary's understanding of Baptism, its symbolism, and its relationship to church membership is explained on our "Membership page".
1. I understand why infants shouldn’t be baptized, but what about young children, like 3 or 4 year-olds?
From the perspective of the New Testament, the only requirement for baptism is a credible profession of faith; that is, that the candidate for baptism gives to the church a believable accounting of their faith in Jesus. Even young children can make a credible profession of faith – the obvious difficulty here is that children are excellent mimics. They can parrot their parents’ faith quite easily. So we recommend an interview for the child with one of our pastors or deacons without the parents present. This gives us the opportunity to question your child without them having recourse to you for help. At this point, the leaders at Calvary may recommend delaying your child’s baptism until such a time as we become convinced that your child holds the faith as their own.
2. I was baptized as an infant. Would it be wrong for me to be baptized again?
Actually, it would be wrong for you not to be baptized again. And the reason for this is that infant baptism is not, properly speaking, Christian baptism. You need to be baptized according to the Lord’s command, which as we explained above, takes place after your profession of faith.
3. I have friends who believe in infant baptism. Are you saying that it would be wrong for them to take Communion and that you would not allow them to join Calvary?
Yes, it would be improper for an unbaptized person to take Communion as per the explanation above. Remember: infant baptism is not biblical baptism. Therefore, regardless of the language used, people baptized as infants were not properly baptized. They should not participate in Communion at Calvary until such a time as they are properly baptized. Church membership is the same. Those who receive the word are baptized, and it is those who receive the word who devote themselves to the fellowship of believers (Acts 2:41-42).
With that said, we are not ignorant of the implications of our position, not least that it means that we would not allow a historical giant like Jonathan Edwards, or present-day theologically strong evangelical like R C Sproul to receive Communion from or to join Calvary Baptist Church. Nevertheless, as sympathetic as we are to the case for allowing brothers like Edwards and Sproul to join our ranks, the teaching of the Bible must reign supreme at Calvary. Scripture does not support infant baptism.
4. I was baptized as a believer by sprinkling (or pouring). Should I be baptized again?
5. My good friend who is not a pastor baptized me. Should I be baptized again?
The Bible does not explicitly mandate that an ordained minister perform your baptism. However, it is very clear that baptism was given to the church corporately, not to Christians individually. Therefore, baptisms apart from a connection to a local church move outside the orbit of the teaching of the Bible. So after interviewing you, the pastors of Calvary may discover that your baptism was given without connection to a local church. In such a case, they may recommend your rebaptism.
6. I’ve heard baptism called a “sacrament.” Is there any difference between calling baptism a sacrament and Calvary’s understanding of baptism?
Calvary prefers not to use the term "sacrament". The latin word sacrament means tto make sacred". Baptism does not make anyone sacred. We prefer to use the term ordinance.
7. I was part of a church that taught that the only proper baptism was the one they administered. Does Calvary teach this? And should I be baptized again?
Calvary would never say that the only valid baptism is the one you receive from our church. Instead, this is the mark of a cult. Assuming that a genuine Christian church according to the biblical teaching (explained on our "Membership page") baptized you, Calvary will recognize your previous church’s baptism as valid.