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-   -   A question about full immersion baptism. (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=798617)

chacoguy 07-17-2016 12:34 AM

A question about full immersion baptism.
 
Like this.

I know there are some sects that use a Baptismal Font. That's different; are there any religious groups baptizing their members in stillwater? That is to say, Baptism in a lake or the Ocean?

Does it have to be in a river?

si_blakely 07-17-2016 12:38 AM

Absolutely.

I was an Anglican (currently a Baptist), and I have witnessed several adult full-immersion baptisms in either the ocean or a river or lake (as well as any number of baptisms using a font, of both adults and infants).

The place is not important - the sacrament is.

bob++ 07-17-2016 03:22 AM

Our Anglican Church, which was built in the 1970s has a full immersion pool as well as an ordinary font.

It must have added a good deal to the cost of building the church, which was funded by donations, but to the best of my knowledge, it has not been used since the early 90s.On the other hand, a group from the church visited Israel a couple of years ago, and being ducked in the River Jordan was a highlight of the trip.

Broomstick 07-17-2016 05:24 AM

I was once a guest at a Chicago South Suburb Baptist church that had a full immersion tub up near the altar.

Atomic Mama 07-17-2016 05:43 AM

There is a full-immersion "tub" in a Baptist Church in Belfast, Maine. I saw a baptism take place there. :eek:

si_blakely 07-17-2016 05:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Broomstick (Post 19483485)
I was once a guest at a Chicago South Suburb Baptist church that had a full immersion tub up near the altar.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Atomic Mama (Post 19483497)
There is a full-immersion "tub" in a Baptist Church in Belfast, Maine. I saw a baptism take place there. :eek:

Baptist churches (by doctrinal definition) will generally have a baptismal pool for full immersion adult baptism - there should be no surprises there.

The OP was asking about baptisms in places other than church, which do occur in multiple denominations and places all round the globe.

Isilder 07-17-2016 06:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chacoguy (Post 19483344)
Like this.

I know there are some sects that use a Baptismal Font. That's different; are there any religious groups baptizing their members in stillwater? That is to say, Baptism in a lake or the Ocean?

Yes, only one sect obeys the pope, so its not like all christians follow one "rule".

Sects that require baptism of mature people are called "born again"...they believe that it has to be done as an adult, and that a hair wash at a font isn't the right way.

Lord Feldon 07-17-2016 06:10 AM

This baptism in the ocean did not go well.

Nefario 07-17-2016 07:27 AM

I was baptized in a creek near my childhood country church in the mid-60's. They installed a baptistry in the mid 90's. Churches use the resources at hand.

Full immersion is the process described as performed by Jesus in the Bible. Baptists think it's appropriate to follow that example. That said, my minister has sprinkled a couple of people who were not in a physical condition to be taken into the water. He got advice from his friend the Methodist minister! :D

Baptism is meant to be a sign to the world that one is a believer and may be a requirement to be a member of some churches.

Monty 07-17-2016 09:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chacoguy (Post 19483344)
Like this.

I know there are some sects that use a Baptismal Font. That's different; are there any religious groups baptizing their members in stillwater? That is to say, Baptism in a lake or the Ocean?

Does it have to be in a river?

I'm LDS; baptized my best friend in the mouth of the Carmel River. The key is that the water has to be deep enough to immerse the baptizee and wide enough for both the baptizer and baptizee to stand in the water.

joyfool 07-17-2016 09:45 AM

My mother was re-baptized in a lake just last fall. And there's also another church right down the road from me that does lake baptisms at least twice a year. The former is non-denominational and the latter Baptist.

sbunny8 07-17-2016 10:05 AM

I've attended over a dozen Baptist churches, and every single one of them had a tub specifically for baptisms. I have never seen anyone actually baptized in a river, except in movies. But I have heard stories of Baptist churches who would sometimes do an outdoor baptism, and the stories always involved a lake, not a river.

Zsofia 07-17-2016 01:06 PM

I know some churches do it in Lake Murray.

kunilou 07-17-2016 03:06 PM

A friend of mine grew up in a rural area. The only real source of water near the church was a small creek that fed a tiny pond. She got baptised in the pond -- the creek wasn't deep enough to dunk anyone.

Trinopus 07-17-2016 04:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zsofia (Post 19484106)
I know some churches do it in Lake Murray.

Lake Murray, San Diego? Hello neighbor; that's one of my favorite walking trails!

Does anyone ever baptize using water from a garden hose?

Leo Bloom 07-17-2016 05:15 PM

OP is an interesting question for comparative religion, and for the closest religion, comparitevely, Judaism.

Theologically, I am not familiar with the sacrament's roots following St. John--that is, if the "anointing" imagery (the etymology of the Hebrew "Moshiach"/Messiah) or the more general imagery, anthropologically, of cleansing, from which anointment surely draws.

Nonetheless, the commandment of ritual cleansing and the manner of carrying it out--the mikveh (pronounced simply Mik-vah) is the pool itself--is, like so much of modern (Rabbinic) Judaism, first encountered more or less contemporaneously with the Gospel account.

Ultimately it winds up as a case of having your cake and eating it too: a pool (standing water) with the _idea_ and principle of running water--"running" water implicating refreshing, rejuvenating, and active participation of the forces of nature:

...Before the beginning of the first century BCE, neither written sources, nor archaeology gives any indication about the existence of specific installations used for ritual cleansing.[7][8][9] Mikvehs appear at the beginning of the first century BCE, and from then on ancient mikvehs can be found throughout the land of Israel as well as in historic communities of the Jewish diaspora. In modern times, mikvehs can be found in most communities in Orthodox Judaism.[dubious ] [sic!--Leo]

...A mikveh must be connected to a natural spring or well of naturally occurring water, and thus can be supplied by rivers and lakes which have natural springs as their source.[10] ... The water must flow naturally to the mikveh from the source, which essentially means that it must be supplied by gravity or a natural pressure gradient, and the water cannot be pumped there by hand or carried. It was also forbidden for the water to pass through any vessel which could hold water within it (however pipes open to the air at both ends are fine)[17]

As a result, tap water could not be used as the primary water source for a mikveh, although it can be used to top the water up to a suitable level.[16] To avoid issues with these rules in large cities, various methods are employed to establish a valid mikveh. One is that tap water is made to flow over the top of a kosher mikveh, and through a conduit into a larger pool. A second method is to create a mikveh in a deep pool, place a floor with holes over that and then fill the upper pool with tap water. In this way, it is considered as if the person dipping is actually "in" the pool of rain water.

Most contemporary mikvehs are indoor constructions, involving rain water collected from a cistern, and passed through a duct by gravity into an ordinary bathing pool; the mikveh can be heated, taking into account certain rules, often resulting in an environment not unlike a spa....


Source: Wikipedia, reformatted for clarity: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikveh]

Mr Quatro 07-17-2016 05:38 PM

I was Baptized as a youth in the Methodist church by the pastor just sprinkling some water on me, but several years later my faith changed to Calvary Chapel baptism in Mission Bay. Yes full immersion is good for the soul in that it is in the commitment to Jesus by words and faith and by the water and the blood to renew your born again Spirit.

Here's a really good short video, "Down to the River to Pray": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSif...&nohtml5=False

Most of these people are no longer with us probably, but forever starts when you believe.

Leo Bloom 07-17-2016 05:55 PM

(Countdown begins to forum bitch by poster or mod note...)

Oddball_92 07-17-2016 05:55 PM

The full immersion is, in my opinion, more symbolic of washing away sins than sprinkling. As a Baptist we did full immersion. I believe a lake, pond, river, or a church baptismal is completely acceptable. As far as the ocean... I have never really thought about that, but on first thought it seems ok as well. Baptism is not required in order to be saved, as evidenced by the criminal on the cross, but it is something we should do as soon as possible after accepting Christ.

Velocity 07-17-2016 06:34 PM

Baptism in lakes or rivers still happens, but it's statistically rarer than the baptism pool, I think.

GaryM 07-17-2016 07:22 PM

I'll note that a Baptismal pool is not a good place to store moonshine in attempt to hide it from the revenuers!

From the movie "What the deaf man heard".

Musicat 07-17-2016 08:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trinopus (Post 19484427)
Does anyone ever baptize using water from a garden hose?

Depends. Is it holy water or unholy water?

Melbourne 07-17-2016 08:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Leo Bloom (Post 19484521)
OP is an interesting question for comparative religion, and for the closest religion, comparitevely, Judaism.
...
Ultimately it winds up as a case of having your cake and eating it too: a pool (standing water) with the _idea_ and principle of running water--"running" water implicating refreshing, rejuvenating, and active participation of the forces of nature:

Interesting. The 1904 Mikvay in Melbourne used normal tap water, "running" just a little way into the pool And -- after being out of use for a while, it's been renovated for "reform" use. http://mikvahdesign.blogspot.com.au/...baths-new.html
... absent which they were using the ocean (Port Philip Bay)
Dunno what the orthodox have been doing.

Baptist churchs have full-immersion pools if they can. The Anglican cathedral here has a full immersion font added in 1912. ( http://www.weekendnotes.com/st-pauls...ral-melbourne/ )

Anyway, responding te the OP:.. an independent (unaffiliated Baptist) church my family is associated with uses the school swimming pool.

Melbourne 07-17-2016 08:31 PM

and just because it's fun: "A bush christening", Banjo Paterson

md2000 07-18-2016 01:08 AM

In 2011 We visited the site where John the Baptist did Jesus (of course, as asserted by locals in 1000AD or so to entertain visiting crusaders. The area had apparently recently re-opened, after John the Baptist had been relocated for many years further north on a less contested part of the Jordan River. )

Nevertheless, drive past a mile or two of signs warning about land mines if you stray off the road; down a narrow road between barbed wire fences, and you get to a parking lot and souvenir shop, then a spot where Jordan (the country) is maybe 30 feet away across the mighty deep and wide Jordan River. At the time we were there, there were maybe two dozen Russians, all taking turns being fully immersed in the Jordan River.

However, I suspect this was less a first-time baptism for them, and more likely a repeat performance because of the location.

Lord Feldon 07-18-2016 01:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trinopus (Post 19484427)
Does anyone ever baptize using water from a garden hose?

I don't know about directly from the hose, but I know I've seen images of baptisms in portable swimming pools, which were probably filled with a garden hose.

si_blakely 07-18-2016 03:21 AM

I've seen a baptism in a spa bath (no bubbles).

Along the same lines, our old vicar recently built a portable coffin shaped baptistry for his congregation - on the principle that baptism is representative of dying to the old self, and being raised into new life.

dhricenak 07-18-2016 07:34 AM

Pond Baptism
 
Back in in the 80's I attended a small country Baptist church that used a local farm pond. This was in rural northeastern Pennsylvania.

Chronos 07-18-2016 07:46 AM

In the Catholic church, there are only three requirements for a valid baptism:
1: It must use water.
2: It must be done in the names of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit
3: The person performing it must have the genuine intent to baptize.

We're not generally in the habit of using natural bodies of water, but if someone wants to do it that way, that's fine, whether it's running or standing. And while it's usually preferred to have a bit more ceremony to it, it's also possible to use a garden hose.

There are also some rules for what it takes for a baptism to be licit (that is to say, one can do it otherwise, but one isn't supposed to): For instance, a baptism ought to be performed by a priest. But those can be dispensed with in cases of necessity. And I don't think any of them even address the details of the water source.

Incidentally, it's also the position of the Catholic church that a person can only be validly baptized once. So if you receive a valid-but-not-licit baptism, you can never receive a licit one. Converts to Catholicism from other branches of Christianity, then, are usually not re-baptized, because Catholics recognize the baptisms of most other sects as valid.

SpeedwayRyan 07-18-2016 08:22 AM

I went to a Church of Christ as a kid that had a full-immersion pool (was never baptized, never bought into it, personally). It was behind the altar area, accessible from a back room, and the theater of them dimming the lights in the auditorium and swiftly pulling back the curtain to a well-lit baptismal was fairly impressive for a church that didn't do much of the dramatic (no instrumental music, for instance).

Anyway, there were stories of people being baptized in swimming pools and bathtubs and the like. Usually the story involved a person hearing the good news about how they could be saved and wanting to be baptized right away, or a person in some far-flung land where that was the only option.

Shodan 07-18-2016 08:45 AM

I believe it used to be the case that baptism always occurred in running water, because running water was considered living water. It was probably also cleaner - I doubt if that mattered as much. Nowadays most churches have baptismal fonts of varying sizes.

My wife ordained a pastor last week, and the church he is now pastoring uses a lake nearby for baptisms.

The story of the baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch is similar to what SpeedwayRyan mentions, but it is not clear in the story if he was baptized in a river or a pond.

Regards,
Shodan

Doug K. 07-18-2016 08:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nefario (Post 19483587)
I was baptized in a creek near my childhood country church in the mid-60's. They installed a baptistry in the mid 90's. Churches use the resources at hand.

Full immersion is the process described as performed by Jesus in the Bible. Baptists think it's appropriate to follow that example. That said, my minister has sprinkled a couple of people who were not in a physical condition to be taken into the water. He got advice from his friend the Methodist minister! :D

Baptism is meant to be a sign to the world that one is a believer and may be a requirement to be a member of some churches.

Well, no. The New Testament is pretty explicit that Jesus did NOT baptize with water. Both in John the Baptist's preaching (I indeed baptize you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost - Mark 1:8) and in John 4:2 (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples did.)

janis_and_c0 07-18-2016 09:05 AM

I was baptized in the Swimming pool at the YMCA. I've seen baptisms in lakes, oceans , other pools, etc. I even know someone who was baptized in a physical therapy tank. As others have said physical location doesn't matter, as long as you are put fully under the water.

MacLir 07-18-2016 09:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trinopus (Post 19484427)
Lake Murray, San Diego? Hello neighbor; that's one of my favorite walking trails!

Does anyone ever baptize using water from a garden hose?

What do you think they fill the baptistery with? A funnel on the roof and prayers for rain? ;) Be about my luck someone will chime in with a church where they DO use rainwater. :smack:

MacLir 07-18-2016 09:50 AM

I will throw in an anecdote from a church I attended.

For whatever reason (The pastor being an avid fisherman leading the list) this church set up an open-air baptism in Meadow Lake, Idaho. Meadow Lake is at about 8000 feet, in a glacial cirque.

To describe it as simply cold is an understatement. I was standing by as a safety wearing long underwear, jeans, and chest waders and was still cold. The "dunkees" were coming out blue.

It was set up as a communal camping trip, which we didn't stay for, and as we were leaving it started snowing. In (late) summer.

Chronos 07-18-2016 10:07 AM

Quote:

Quoth janis_and_c0:

As others have said physical location doesn't matter, as long as you are put fully under the water.
Comments like this are a lot less useful without specifying the sect. In some churches, being fully immersed doesn't matter, either. There are probably others where the location does matter. We've already heard that the closest equivalent Jewish ritual does have requirements placed on the location, which are sometimes met with "a funnel on the roof and prayers for rain".

Tom Tildrum 07-18-2016 01:03 PM

A dunk tank would be awesome for this purpose. Give the pastor three throws; if he or she misses them all, then to hell with you.

BigT 07-18-2016 02:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chronos (Post 19485639)
In the Catholic church, there are only three requirements for a valid baptism:
1: It must use water.
2: It must be done in the names of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit
3: The person performing it must have the genuine intent to baptize.

Seems like that's missing something. Does not the participant have to desire to be baptized?

If not, I could see a zealous believer exploiting such a loophole to try and save everyone.

Atamasama 07-18-2016 02:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lord Feldon (Post 19483525)
This baptism in the ocean did not go well.

I'd say it was just in time.

Nava 07-18-2016 02:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigT (Post 19486622)
Seems like that's missing something. Does not the participant have to desire to be baptized?

If not, I could see a zealous believer exploiting such a loophole to try and save everyone.

No, we do infant baptism, which may include seconds-old baptism*. BUT! There is a situation called "baptism by desire": if someone who is old enough to have such a desire dies before he can be baptized formally, he counts as baptized.



* I was baptized 3 days post-birth; for my nephew it was 2 months and a half; the mother of one of my favourite teachers died in childbirth and the father baptized the child then and there fearing he'd die as well before the priest could arrive.

Broomstick 07-18-2016 06:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigT (Post 19486622)
Seems like that's missing something. Does not the participant have to desire to be baptized?

Not in all sects. Those who believe in infant baptism, for example, obviously do not require desire on the part of the participant who might be only minutes old and thus clueless about everything.

Quote:

If not, I could see a zealous believer exploiting such a loophole to try and save everyone.
When I was a kid my county had a scandal where some, shall we say, highly enthused and motivated Christians were trying to trick local Jewish kids into being baptised, then claiming they weren't Jewish anymore and now had to attend their church. Needless to say, that did not go over well with the Jewish parents. Or a lot of other people. So yeah, that sort of thing does happen but in general it's probably not common. And if you don't believe in baptism then even if someone tries that stunt you just ignore it and get on with your life. (Well, there might be some angry shouting prior to the "get on with it", but you know what I mean.)

Chronos 07-18-2016 07:16 PM

There have also been some controversies involving the LDS church, which allows baptism-by-proxy: That is, one LDS dunks another LDS, but it counts as being a baptism of some other person.

And if we're sharing anecdotes of unconventional baptisms, I was baptized by my parents in the bathroom sink. I was a few months old at the time; Mom and Dad were trying to schedule a more conventional baptism, but it was really hard to get all of the kinfolks' schedules to work. Then one night, though, Mom left the window in my room open, and the temperature dropped precipitously overnight. By the time Mom woke up to check on me, I was already turning blue from cold. So as soon as they got me warmed up again (or maybe while they were doing so), they baptized me themselves. When we finally got all the family together a few weeks after that, we had a nice little party with the priest and everything, but it didn't mean anything sacramentally, because I was already baptized.

installLSC 07-18-2016 09:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigT (Post 19486622)
Seems like that's missing something. Does not the participant have to desire to be baptized?

If not, I could see a zealous believer exploiting such a loophole to try and save everyone.

If you're too old for infant baptism, yes. From the official catechism of the Catholic Church
Quote:

1247 Since the beginning of the Church, adult Baptism is the common practice where the proclamation of the Gospel is still new. The catechumenate (preparation for Baptism) therefore occupies an important place. This initiation into Christian faith and life should dispose the catechumen to receive the gift of God in Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist.

1248 The catechumenate, or formation of catechumens, aims at bringing their conversion and faith to maturity, in response to the divine initiative and in union with an ecclesial community. The catechumenate is to be "a formation in the whole Christian life . . . during which the disciples will be joined to Christ their teacher. The catechumens should be properly initiated into the mystery of salvation and the practice of the evangelical virtues, and they should be introduced into the life of faith, liturgy, and charity of the People of God by successive sacred rites."
Interestingly enough, although both pouring and immersion are allowed by church rules, immersion is indicated as the preferred method. Was immersion ever the more practiced form of baptism?

Nefario 07-18-2016 09:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Doug K. (Post 19485757)
Well, no. The New Testament is pretty explicit that Jesus did NOT baptize with water. Both in John the Baptist's preaching (I indeed baptize you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost - Mark 1:8) and in John 4:2 (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples did.)

John 3:22 After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized.

23 Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized.

24 (This was before John was put in prison.)

25 An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing.

26 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”

John 4:1 Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— 2although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples.

The commentaries I read suppose that Jesus initially baptized followers personally. Later he preached and his disciples performed baptisms.

Monty 07-19-2016 08:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chronos (Post 19487386)
There have also been some controversies involving the LDS church, which allows baptism-by-proxy: That is, one LDS dunks another LDS, but it counts as being a baptism of some other person.

The controversy is in the now unauthorized proxy baptism for deceased victims of the Holocaust.

The LDS theology holds that a living person may function as a stand-in for the deceased and that the deceased will either accept or reject the ceremony carried out on his or her behalf. There is no proxy baptism in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on behalf of a living person.

MEBuckner 07-19-2016 09:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigT (Post 19486622)
Seems like that's missing something. Does not the participant have to desire to be baptized?

If not, I could see a zealous believer exploiting such a loophole to try and save everyone.

And see also the Mortara case, a 19th century cause célèbre in which the Catholic maid of the Jewish Mortara family living in the Papal States performed an "emergency baptism" on their very sick infant son Edgardo--then several years after the baby recovered, the baptism was discovered and the authorities in the Papal States said the child was now a Catholic and could not (by the laws of the Papal States) be raised by a Jewish family. Edgardo was taken from the Mortaras when he was six years old and raised by the Church, eventually becoming a Catholic priest.

Pai325 07-19-2016 10:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Monty (Post 19488501)
The controversy is in the now unauthorized proxy baptism for deceased victims of the Holocaust.

The LDS theology holds that a living person may function as a stand-in for the deceased and that the deceased will either accept or reject the ceremony carried out on his or her behalf. There is no proxy baptism in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on behalf of a living person.

I may have mentioned this before.

My parents grandparents, aunts and uncles are buried on the grounds of a Catholic seminary, along with many priests and nuns.

When I was doing genealogy in Salt Lake Ciry, I found a book stating that everyone in the cemetery had been baptized by proxy into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

It made me smile of think of all the Catholic religious who would have been surprised by this. It doesn't bother me; I guess somebody thought she was doing a good deed.

Chronos 07-19-2016 11:25 AM

Thank you for the further information, Monty. I didn't follow all of the details of the case when it was news.

janis_and_c0 07-19-2016 12:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chronos (Post 19485945)
Comments like this are a lot less useful without specifying the sect. In some churches, being fully immersed doesn't matter, either. There are probably others where the location does matter. We've already heard that the closest equivalent Jewish ritual does have requirements placed on the location, which are sometimes met with "a funnel on the roof and prayers for rain".

That is why I posted the link, as it contained more info about the church :)

Irishman 07-19-2016 06:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Isilder (Post 19483524)
Sects that require baptism of mature people are called "born again"...they believe that it has to be done as an adult, and that a hair wash at a font isn't the right way.

"An adult" isn't necessary in some sects. I was raised Southern Baptist, and was baptized when I was IIRC 9 years old. What was important was the idea that I was old enough to request it and to understand the nature of baptism and what it symbolized.


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