Jump to content

The Protestant Community

Welcome to Christforums the Protestant Community. You'll need to register in order to post your comments on your favorite topics and subjects. You'll also enjoy sharing media across multiple platforms. We hope you enjoy your fellowship here! God bless, Christforums' Staff
Register now

Christforums

Christforums is a Protestant Christian forum, open to Bible- believing Christians such as Presbyterians, Lutherans, Reformed, Baptists, Church of Christ members, Pentecostals, Anglicans. Methodists, Charismatics, or any other conservative, Nicene- derived Christian Church. We do not solicit cultists of any kind, including Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Eastern Lightning, Falun Gong, Unification Church, Aum Shinrikyo, Christian Scientists or any other non- Nicene, non- Biblical heresy. God bless, Christforums' Staff
Register now
Sign in to follow this  
Francis

Switching Denominations

Recommended Posts

Is it advisable that we should switch to different denominations when we are currently not satisfied with our current denomination? I have a cousin who has managed to switch to different denominations more than two times. He claims that he shouldn't be in a denomination which supports certain ideologies. What happens when one was already baptised, are they forced to be baptised again?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Is it advisable that we should switch to different denominations when we are currently not satisfied with our current denomination? I have a cousin who has managed to switch to different denominations more than two times. He claims that he shouldn't be in a denomination which supports certain ideologies. What happens when one was already baptised, are they forced to be baptised again?

 

Any orthodox denomination professes the Nicene Creed. In the Creed it states One baptism, as long as you were baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, that is, the Triune God, you should not be rebaptized. To rebaptize is to communicate doubt. If you would like to learn more about baptism I recommend checking out the baptism sub-forum.

 

Nicene Creed:

 

"We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

 

“And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.

 

“And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And we believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen."

 

Scriptural reference:

  • Ephesians 4:4-6 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

God bless,

William

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am baptized in a church where infant baptism is practiced. For a few years now, ever since I started reading the Bible, I've been having doubts with the practices in my denomination. I started going to different Christian churches. Now, I feel that I should leave my current denomination and switch instead to the one which I strongly feel is of Christ, and to do so, I have to be baptized again. That's why I am also wondering about this matter. Anyway, I've never been in a forum or group where I can talk about my faith. This is my first time to be in one so I hope I don't offend anyone with my post (:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a Biblical precedent for being baptized again if your first baptism isn't valid.

And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John's baptism.” And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

(Acts 19:1-5 ESV)

When I was 14 years old I was baptized because I believed that we the way to receive salvation. When I was 16 I heard the gospel and was really saved. For a long time I didn't think much about baptism because I had already been baptized and was a member of a church, but then I got to studying the subject and realized that the Biblical order was believe and be baptized. Since I was not really a believer when I was baptized the baptism wasn't really Biblical. I was baptized again in obedience to what the Bible teaches.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Any orthodox denomination professes the Nicene Creed. In the Creed it states One baptism, as long as you were baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, that is, the Triune God, you should not be rebaptized. To rebaptize is to communicate doubt. If you would like to learn more about baptism I recommend checking out the baptism sub-forum.

 

Nicene Creed:

 

 

 

Scriptural reference:

  • Ephesians 4:4-6 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

God bless,

William

 

So that's the difference in getting membership in a credo- baptism church like the Baptists, the Brethren or the Mennonites as opposed to paedo- baptism churches like the Lutherans or the Presbyterians. In the former, you are baptized and in the latter, you make an affirmation of faith after a period of instruction. Obviously, I stand with the profession of faith people, although I was raised a Baptist, myself. In fact, accepting that infants are actually supposed to be baptized so their lives of faith can start out right took a long time for me to accept. Now, it seems obvious. One Lord, one faith, one baptism would suggest that being baptized once, at infancy, is quite enough.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One Lord, one faith, one baptism would suggest that being baptized once, at infancy, is quite enough.

 

I have a friend who bounced around to several baptistic churches, years ago. He was baptized so many times, he didn't need to shower. ;)

Edited by thatbrian
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am baptized in a church where infant baptism is practiced. For a few years now, ever since I started reading the Bible, I've been having doubts with the practices in my denomination. I started going to different Christian churches. Now, I feel that I should leave my current denomination and switch instead to the one which I strongly feel is of Christ, and to do so, I have to be baptized again. That's why I am also wondering about this matter. Anyway, I've never been in a forum or group where I can talk about my faith. This is my first time to be in one so I hope I don't offend anyone with my post (:

 

Hi Luna, you are considering joining a church that requires new members to be baptized? I must say, I've never heard of that before. If you don't mind me asking, which denomination is this?

 

Thanks!

 

Yours and His,

David

p.s. - just so you know, you haven't said anything even close to offensive, so no worries :) (quite frankly, I don't think we should have to worry about stepping on each other's toes around here about anything we discuss that's of a reasonable nature, not even controversial subjects like baptism unfortunately can be).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
to do so, I have to be baptized again.

The Bible teaches that we are to be baptized after we have put our faith in Christ. Obviously one who is baptized as an infant hasn't done that so the baptism you have received isn't really a baptism. The church you are considering joining doesn't require that you be baptized again, it simply requires that you be baptized.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There is a Biblical precedent for being baptized again if your first baptism isn't valid.

And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John's baptism.” And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

(
)

The Bible teaches that we are to be baptized after we have put our faith in Christ. Obviously one who is baptized as an infant hasn't done that so the baptism you have received isn't really a baptism. The church you are considering joining doesn't require that you be baptized again, it simply requires that you be baptized.

 

 

Those people did believe in the Son of God; but Paul enquires whether they had received the Holy Spirit, - whether they believed in the Spirit.

 

Just like the Holy Spirit could come upon someone to accomplish a task in the OT, the same applies in the NT. For example, God may bring us together to study the word of God through a new found desire, the Spirit is performing an operation, but that doesn't mean someone is sealed in the Holy Spirit because they desire to attend a Bible Study. Read Hebrews 6:1-8, it is possible for people to "taste" the fruits of the Holy Spirit but yet are not saved. Paul was asking whether these people were sealed in the Holy Spirit. I'm sure you'll agree, that because someone is baptized with water and makes a profession of faith that they are not necessarily saved, unless you're promoting synergism rather than monergism? Or baptismal regeneration?

 

John Calvin:

 

Acts 19:5

5.When they heard these things. Because the men of old had conceived an opinion that the baptism of John and of Christ were diverse, it was no inconvenient − (356) thing for them to be baptized again, who were only prepared with the baptism of John. But that that diversity was falsely and wickedly by them believed, it appeareth by this, in that it was a pledge and token of the same adoption, and of the same newness of life, which we have at this day in our baptism; and, therefore, we do not read that Christ did baptize those again who came from John unto him. Moreover, Christ received baptism in his own flesh, that he might couple himself with us by that visible sign, ( Mat 3:15) but if that reigned diversity be admitted, this singular benefit shall fall away and perish, that baptism is common to the Son of God and to us, or that we have all one baptism with him. But this opinion needeth no long refutation, because to the end they may persuade that these two baptisms be diverse, they must needs show first wherein the one differeth from the other; but a most excellent likelihood answereth on both parts, and also the agreement and conformity of the parts, − (357) which causeth us to confess that it is all one baptism. −

 

Now the question is, whether it were lawful to repeat the same; and furious men in this our age; trusting to this testimony, went about to bring in baptizing again. − (358) Some take baptism for new institution or instruction, of whose mind I am not, because, as their exposition is too much racked, so it smelleth of a starting-hole − (359). −

 

Other some deny that baptism was repeated; because they were baptized amiss by some foolish enemy − (360) of John. But because their conjecture hath no color; yea, the words of Paul do rather import that they were the true and natural disciples of John, and Luke doth honorably call them disciples of Christ; I do not subscribe to this opinion, and yet deny that the baptism of water was repeated, because the words of Luke import no other thing, save only that they were baptized with the Spirit. First, it is no new thing for the name of baptism to be translated unto the gifts of the Spirit, as we saw in the first and in the eleventh chapters, ( Act 1:5, and Act 11:6) where Luke said, that when Christ promised to his apostles to send the Spirit visible, he called it baptism. −

 

Also, that when the Spirit came down upon Cornelius, Peter remembered the words of the Lord, “Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.” Again, we see that those visible gifts are spoken of by name in this place, and that the same are given with baptism. And whereas it followeth immediately, that when he had laid his hands upon them, the Spirit came, I take it to be added by way of interpretation; for it is a kind of speaking much used in the Scripture, first to set down a thing briefly, and afterwards to make it more plain. Therefore, that which by reason of brevity was somewhat obscure, doth Luke better express and lay more open, saying, that by laying on of hands the Spirit was given them. If any man object, that when baptism is put for the gifts of the Spirit, it is not taken simply, but having somewhat added to it. I answer, that Luke’s meaning doth sufficiently appear by the text; and again, that Luke doth allude unto the baptism whereof he spake. And surely if you understand it of the external sign, it shall be an absurd thing that it was given them without using any better doctrine. But and if you take it metaphorically for institution, the speech shall be as yet harsh; and the narration should not agree, that after they were taught the Holy Ghost came down upon them. −

 

Furthermore, as I confess that this laying on of hands was a sacrament, so I say that those fell through ignorance who did continually imitate the same. For seeing that all men agree in this, that it was a grace which was to last only for a time, which was showed by that sign, it is a perverse and ridiculous thing to retain the sign since the truth is taken away. There is another respect of baptism and the supper, wherein the Lord doth testify that those gifts are laid open for us, which the Church shall enjoy even until the end of the world. Wherefore we must diligently and wisely distinguish perpetual sacraments from those which last only for a time, lest vain and frivolous visures [semblances] have a place among the sacraments. Whereas the men of old time did use laying on of hands, that they might confirm the profession of faith in those who were grown up, − (361) I do not mislike it; so that no man think that the grace of the Spirit is annexed to such a ceremony, as doth Jerome against the Luciferians. −

 

But the Papists are worthy of no pardon, who being not content with the ancient rite, durst thrust in rotten and filthy anointing, that it might be not only a confirmation of baptism, but also a more worthy sacrament, whereby they imagine that the faithful are made perfect who were before only half perfect, — whereby those are armed against the battle, who before had their sins only forgiven them. For they have not been afraid to spew out these horrible blasphemies.

 

(356) −

“ Absurdum,” absurd.

(357) −

“ − Atqui utrumque respondet optima similitudo et partiurn omnium symmetria et conformitas .” but there is perfect resemblance, and a complete symmetry and conformity of all the parts.

(358) −

“ Anabaptismum invebere,” to introduce Anabaptism.

(359) −

“ Effugium sapit,” savours of evasion.

(360) −

“ AEmulatore,” rival,

(361) −

“ In adultis,” in adults.

 

God bless,

William

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Hi Luna, you are considering joining a church that requires new members to be baptized? I must say, I've never heard of that before. If you don't mind me asking, which denomination is this?

 

Thanks!

 

Yours and His,

David

p.s. - just so you know, you haven't said anything even close to offensive, so no worries :) (quite frankly, I don't think we should have to worry about stepping on each other's toes around here about anything we discuss that's of a reasonable nature, not even controversial subjects like baptism unfortunately can be).

 

Hi David! :) I've been to two other churches actually, and both of them requires baptism. The first one is the "Church of God in Christ..." (the exact name of the church has a few more words after, but I just can't remember what they are). One of my best friends is a member of that church and she invited me when I told her that I wanna know more about the Bible. I had Bible study sessions there with the pastor and I also attended their Sunday service. The other one is a Reformed Baptist church. Aside from their Sunday service, I also attended their youth fellowship program.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I would not think that you would have to be baptized again, but I could be wrong there. Come to think of it, though, I am not sure that I have ever met anyone who has switched denominations, but I can see some circumstances where they may be called for. I cannot think of the specifics, but I know there are times when denominations have come out with particular stances on controversial issues, so I can see some people disagreeing with that and taking a stance. Interesting stuff, though, and thanks for sharing.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not familiar with the rules of every denomination, but I was baptized as an infant in what is now part of an Evangelical Covenant denomination. Later, through Bible study, I was (and am) persuaded that I needed to be baptized as a believer in Christ, and was baptized in a Grace Brethren Church, and still identify as a Mennonite. However, while living in areas where there were no Mennonite churches, I have been a member of a Church of Christ (non-instrumental), a Southern Baptist church, and an American Baptist church, and re-baptism was not required. While I do hold that believer's baptism is the correct order of things, I think that it would unreasonable for any denomination to require someone who was already baptized as an adult to be re-baptized, although I suppose some may do so because they don't recognize the validity of these other denominations. If so, I do not share in that, as I am sure that there are true Christians within the larger Christian church, which is not restricted to the Mennonites, the Baptists, or any other denomination. Still, I suppose it's a matter of degree, as there are some religious bodies that consider themselves to be Christian that I don't think God will recognize as such. That's not for me to decide, however.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I grew up Catholic, then a few years ago, identified as an atheist, and last year came back to faith, born again this time. I don't identify with Catholicism anymore, and while I don't like to put labels on things, I follow a more Protestant belief system, now. You should follow where the Holy Spirit leads you, not where people lead you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is my first post to this forum, I'm interested in strengthening my faith, currently Non Denominational for political reasons. I am proud to be a Christian, but it seems like there are so many more oppositions toward Christianity today then when I was young, I am scared of this world! I pray I find comfort here...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi CAC, WELCOME TO CF :) I'm glad you joined us, and I agree, the world is a scary place! Do you live in a place where you sometimes experience imminent danger, or is it more the way the world seems to be heading, away from the way it was when you and I were kids?

 

Praying for you in any case.

 

God bless you! (Numbers 6:24-26; Matthew 11:28-30)

 

--David

 

 

 

"Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about

you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I

will help you, surely I will uphold you with

My righteous right hand"

Isaiah 41:10

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi again CAC, a couple of quotes come to mind as well, one from the Lord, and one that echoes what the Lord had to say in John 16:32-33 from missionary/wife/mother/author, Elisabeth Elliot (did you ever catch her radio broadcast by any chance?).

 

The Lord said:

 

 

32 Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.

33 These things I have spoken to you, so that
in Me
you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” ~John 16

 

 

And as I said above, Elliot makes the same observation as she echoes Jesus' words about how we are to live in this world. She says, "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances". If you don't know Elisabeth Elliot's amazing story as a missionary and mother, I think you would enjoy looking it up online :)

 

In Christ,

David

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi & Thank You David for the warm welcome! I live in the US, but I've noticed a lot of criticism regarding Christianity... Christian bashing is what I am sensing. Especially in forums.... It is horrible! Nasty remarks... atheists who will not tolerate even a "I pray for you" or "Bless you" I know I am far-far from being a excellent example Christian, but I thought "society" was supposed to be tolerant! Society wants to tolerate obnoxious beliefs and behaviors, but Christian beliefs are wiped completely off the table!! I have to own my health issues, and to be bashed for my beliefs just pushes me off the edge.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
to be bashed for my beliefs just pushes me off the edge.

You should be thankful when other attack your beliefs. They are actually causing you to be blessed by God.

Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

(Matthew 5:11-12 ESV)

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These are on-point excellent replies, and helps me realize how blessed I am !! I am so thankful to God through Jesus Christ, and prey for strength each day my eyes open!

And I prey that when the haters try to put me down again, I shall say "Thank you for God still loves me when evil tries to knock me down!" I am Truly Blessed, Thank You Theophilus & David! In the Name of Jesus, Have a blessed day!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I live in the deep south, in the middle of "the Bible Belt" where baptists reign ... Although I consider myself to be Non-denominational, I was raised baptist (in the Midwest)...

I studied at a Catholic college, & a Methodist College (lots of variety in studying the Word), married in a Lutheran church, (husband's family is 7day Advent) & now as a mature adult, I don't feel the need to claim any specific denomination, as that is(to me)getting too political... Jesus did not lay claim to a directional way to believe, only to believe He was the way to God, so why do so many have to follow "denomination"???

Believing that Jesus Christ is the way to God should be sufficient, or am I missing something of greater importance in this criteria?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I live in the deep south, in the middle of "the Bible Belt" where baptists reign ... Although I consider myself to be Non-denominational, I was raised baptist (in the Midwest)...

I studied at a Catholic college, & a Methodist College (lots of variety in studying the Word), married in a Lutheran church, (husband's family is 7day Advent) & now as a mature adult, I don't feel the need to claim any specific denomination, as that is(to me)getting too political... Jesus did not lay claim to a directional way to believe, only to believe He was the way to God, so why do so many have to follow "denomination"???

Believing that Jesus Christ is the way to God should be sufficient, or am I missing something of greater importance in this criteria?

 

Jehovah's Witnesses (JW) call themselves Christian and believe that Jesus is the way to God, but they believe that Jesus is not really God, but a created being, like an angel. So God killed an angel in your place (according to the JW).

 

That is an extreme example, but it was chosen to illustrate that in many ways denominations do not matter ... IF they believe the important basic truths of Christianity. Unfortunately, not all do and THAT is a problem.

As a personal example, I attended a church that changed pastors. The new pastor does not believe in miracles. Therefore all scripture, including the Gospels, are read as an allegory ... a work of fiction to draw worldly moral lessons from. That was a view that mattered to me. Deeply. I resigned as a Deacon and offered a protest to the Pastor and Elder Board. The church went on to drive off all who believed the Word of God and is now a social club dedicated to the comfort of men.

 

A 'good' denomination would have prevented that (Evangelical Free Church allows complete local autonomy). A 'bad' denomination would have embraced that across all of its churches. Most denominations fall in the middle and struggle to do what is right according to scripture and their understanding of it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had a VERY bad experience with JW, when I was a nurse on an OB unit. A young mother with anemia had a hard delivery and subsequent large blood loss. The doctors said she would die without a blood transfusion.... the "elders" of her church which were all male said "NO!" "give her "volume expanders!" they said, well to teach them that "Volume expanders"only add volume,and can NOT carry oxygen to the brain, they still refused because of the belief of "tainted blood" would send her to hell. I totally dislike JW in any form

for THAT reason. to leave a new born without it's mother by the choice of JW... regardless if there were any women on the "elders board" or what ever they call it, is ludicrous

to condemn this woman to death by child birth... I will not take any of their reasons as just cause to allow death... and BTW the hospital did get a court order to transfuse this young mother. I was told later that JW turned them back on her! In all the arguments of selecting a denomination, I will always go Non-denominational, and believe in God, His works, His son, & His glory and blessings! That is good enough for me! Amen!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
... and believe in God, His works, His son, & His glory and blessings! That is good enough for me! Amen!

If you attend a church, denominational or non-denominational, that believes that (and means the same things that you do with those words) you should not go too far wrong.

 

I would just suggest "Sola Scriptura" (as William is fond of saying) as one more useful yardstick.

Being less theological, I would probably translate that as "The Bible says it, I believe it, so that settles it." ;)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have had a VERY bad experience with JW, when I was a nurse on an OB unit. A young mother with anemia had a hard delivery and subsequent large blood loss. The doctors said she would die without a blood transfusion.... the "elders" of her church which were all male said "NO!" "give her "volume expanders!" they said, well to teach them that "Volume expanders"only add volume,and can NOT carry oxygen to the brain, they still refused because of the belief of "tainted blood" would send her to hell. I totally dislike JW in any form

for THAT reason. to leave a new born without it's mother by the choice of JW... regardless if there were any women on the "elders board" or what ever they call it, is ludicrous

to condemn this woman to death by child birth... I will not take any of their reasons as just cause to allow death... and BTW the hospital did get a court order to transfuse this young mother. I was told later that JW turned them back on her! In all the arguments of selecting a denomination, I will always go Non-denominational, and believe in God, His works, His son, & His glory and blessings! That is good enough for me! Amen!

 

You realize JW's are not a Christian denomination? And you seemingly suggest that going non-denominational automatically ensures one's belief is Orthodox. Why?

 

God bless,

William

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

You realize JW's are not a Christian denomination? And you seemingly suggest that going non-denominational automatically ensures one's belief is Orthodox. Why?

 

God bless,

William

 

I would agree, but they would disagree.

Other websites lump them in with 'Christian' (to my eternal grief).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×