Tag Archives: Immersion

COC #52: False Premise #4 Regarding Baptism

False Premise #4: The Christian Church has always believed that immersion is the only acceptable mode for Baptism.

The Protestant Church of Christ’s fourth false premise is a common Protestant trait, which is to label any nonconforming example from history as “not true Christianity,” or not pertaining to the invisible “true Church” that exists within a community’s assumed ancient presence. The strategy always allows for a “true” form of Christianity to elusively exist somewhere within the shadows of history—a form that always adheres to any modern whim. So, for those of you who have considered my review of the last three false premises, and are entertaining the possibility, no matter how slight, that the Catholic Church has a more perfect grasp on the subjects of Baptism and Scripture, then the following should solidify your inkling. 

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COC #51: COC False Premise #3 Regarding Baptism

False Premise #3: Every Baptism in the Bible is by full immersion.

The New Testament does not describe a single example of a proper mode for Baptism. The New Testament, however, does refer to instructions about baptisms (Hebrews 6:2), but no instructions of any kind are found in the New Testament—such instructions are part of the Sacred Tradition of the Church, and you should ask yourself, “Where are the instructions if they are not in the Bible, and who guards them?” But the Protestant sects have divorced themselves from the Sacred Tradition; have chosen to engage in private interpretation of the historical Church’s Scriptures. But even if the modern rules of heresy were reasonable, a “Bible-only” Christian should notice that the Bible only supports the Catholic Church of Christ’s teachings, because the very word baptizo spans a spectrum of meaning that includes the Catholic Church’s spectrum of modal acceptance, as I illustrated by exposing false premise #2.

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COC #50: COC False Premise #2 Regarding Baptism

False Premise #2: The secular and Christian use of the Greek word from which the English word “baptism” is derived always refers to immersion (complete submersion) in a fluid.        

The Protestant Church of Christ’s second false premise is closely related to the first; each relies circularly on the other as support. Your erroneous assumption is that the Greek word from which the English word “baptism” is derived always refers to complete submersion in a fluid. 

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COC #49: COC False Premise #1 Regarding Baptism

False Premise #1: The secular Greek use of the word baptizo is intended to indicate a specific mode for a religious rite. 

True, the Greek word baptizo is the word from which the English word “baptism” is derived, but your group is incorrect when it teaches that the Greek word’s use is intended to communicate a specific mode for a Christian rite. It is a poor assumption to believe that an older word provides the conclusive illuminating exposition of a newer concept.  

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COC #48: The Church of Christ Recognizes Various Modes of Baptism

Non-Catholic Christians,

The Catholic Church of Christ believes the word “Baptism” (capitalized as a sacrament) represents a specific sacrament, and the Protestant Church of Christ believes the word—capitalized or not—represents a specific sacrament (so to speak) as well as a specific mode: immersion, and only immersion. The Catholic Church and the Protestant group agree that Baptism by immersion is valid, but the Catholic Church has always understood that Baptism is not relegated to its alleged pheno-linguistic parameters, but as a sacrament, includes pouring as a proper mode (often referred to as “sprinkling” by non-Catholics, but is in fact a pouring action when performed most properly).1    

It is with great pleasure that the Catholic Church of Christ recognizes the validity of your group’s “first” Baptisms (there are no “re-Baptisms”; cf. Ephesians 4:5), and they are valid because they are still within the scope of the Catholic Church’s teachings (the Church is the foundation and conduit of truth: cf. John 14:16-18,26; 16:13; Ephesians 3:10; 1 Timothy 3:15); with water, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and for the forgiveness of sins (regeneration). The difference, however, is that your group has deliberately narrowed its understanding of acceptable modes—an evolution that is tied to a new (= Protestant) belief that infants should not be baptized, which I will address in the next chapter.

In addition to your erroneous assumption that the Bible is intended to provide a thorough exposition of a proper mode (the Scriptures do not, and cannot, claim to be a “sole authority” or thorough expounder of the subject), your group’s confusion seems to largely stem from four false premises. It goes without mentioning, though I must, that not all members of your group accept every false premise as true, but all members do accept some of them in varying degrees. I will show how your group’s premises are false and simultaneously show you how the Catholic Church of Christ’s position is more reasonable. 


      1 “Sprinkling”, as a mode, does not affect validity, only licitness (strict adherence to law). Catechism of the Catholic Church #1239: “Baptism is performed in the most expressive way by triple immersion in the baptismal water. However, from ancient times it has also been able to be conferred by pouring the water three times over the candidate’s head.” Code of Canon Law, 854: “Baptism is to be conferred either by immersion or by pouring.”