Forms of Baptism

"But we do not believe in baptismal regeneration," Reverend Pelletier emphasized. "We believe baptism is a symbol. We have many friends (in other denominations) who are sprinkled. We donít make an issue of this. In fact, our group of hospital chaplains is affiliated with sixty different denominations, many of whom do not baptize as we do. We do not feel baptism is a saving action. We are saved by grace, unmerited favor, not something we worked for but something we receive as a gift from God. Baptism, then, is a form of public confession. The person who is baptized is publicly confessing before all that Christ is his or her saviour and will walk in the newness of the Christian life."

I was surprised at Reverend Pelletierís wide acceptance of different methods of baptism as I recalled the many times in history when Baptists were martyred for emphasizing the importance of immersion or were so often run out of the towns and cities of Europe. I recalled how Baptist forefathers in America were often abused in the New England colonies and how on one occasion the doors of their worship hall were nailed shut by people of the majority denomination.

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