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(Re)baptism or corrective baptism

Thetruthisgod

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Howdy ya'll, this is my first post on this forum.

I entered the church through Chrismation. Had I been told to, I would have been baptized. However, my bishop said that my baptism was acceptable, and whatever was lacking in it was filled on entering the church. Not that my baptism was in itself orthodox, but on entering the church became orthodox(I suppose).


Well, there is someone in the church with a lot of clout who told me that I wasn't really baptized. He pressured me to get baptized. My bishop says that if I were to do such a thing, it would count as a rebaptism and I would be excommunicated. This someone in the church with a lot of clout encouraged me to rebel against my bishop on this, even to get baptized in secret.

In the end, after much prayer and consulting many councils, I decided against getting rebaptized, considering myself in obedience to my bishop. Besides that, many of my councils across jurisdictions agree that once someone has entered into the church through chrismation, you do not baptize them as their old baptism has been made acceptable.

I do have an issue with this though. People who are being taught by this man tell me I am not baptized. Some of them don't even consider me orthodox. Truthfully, it seems incredibly schismatic to me.

I want to make it clear that the person pressuring me to do this is someone in the church with a lot of clout. He isn't a layman either. I am not going to say who it is, because even though my interactions with this man over the period of a month have lead me to have very strong opinions, I am not trying to create a scandal. I know that this man has rebaptized many under the nose of their bishops.

Anyway, does anyone have thoughts about this? I am particularly interested in what the saints and councils say about this. I figure if I put this out there it might give me some information about this issue I may have overlooked.

It seems pretty important to me.

Thank you all, and Christ be your wisdom.
 

Ainnir

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What jurisdiction are you in?
 

nikoniko

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There is history of accepting people into the Faith by just Chrismation and even a confession at times. There is plenty of reading you can do on the subject. Typically, if you were a Trinitarian Christian who was baptized in the name of the Trinity.. you don't need a rebaptism. There are jurisdictions that will have you do it, and there are certain groups of people who try to conduct secret baptisms behind their Bishop's backs.

It is very common at Elder Ephraim's monasteries in America. Rebaptisms are not required but they are regularly conducted and people just like you are pressured into them. I don't mind a rebaptism.. but when it becomes secretive..
 

JTLoganville

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Bishop Basil is very godly.

I am thankful that you are following his counsel and his alone.

He deserves to know the full story as you have shared here; and I am certain that he will ensure that no one else will suffer the same anguish as you have experienced.
 

Thetruthisgod

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There is history of accepting people into the Faith by just Chrismation and even a confession at times. There is plenty of reading you can do on the subject. Typically, if you were a Trinitarian Christian who was baptized in the name of the Trinity.. you don't need a rebaptism. There are jurisdictions that will have you do it, and there are certain groups of people who try to conduct secret baptisms behind their Bishop's backs.

It is very common at Elder Ephraim's monasteries in America. Rebaptisms are not required but they are regularly conducted and people just like you are pressured into them. I don't mind a rebaptism.. but when it becomes secretive..

I think it is one thing to be (re)baptized on entering the church. Something else to be rebaptized after already being entered into the church.
 

Thetruthisgod

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Bishop Basil is very godly.

I am thankful that you are following his counsel and his alone.

He deserves to know the full story as you have shared here; and I am certain that he will ensure that no one else will suffer the same anguish as you have experienced.

I think throughout the whole experience, my loyalty to Bishop Basil has increased.
 

noahzarc1

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Listen to your bishop and not the person in the church with clout or anyone else for that matter. I know the baptism/re-baptism issue can be confusing and even damaging. I had it happen to me. I was baptized into the Roman Catholic faith as a baby and later on in life I had fundamentalist Baptist liars tell me my baptism wasn't valid and I was (in my ignorance) "rebaptized" in a Baptist church over 20 years ago. By God's grace I left Protestantism 6 years ago, for good and forever. I am thankful for the many Orthodox Christians in my life back in 2014 who helped me to again understand the sacrament of baptism.

You've been blessed to have direct communication with your bishop on this matter and it seems the issue is firmly settled for you. God bless.
 

Nathanael

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Howdy ya'll, this is my first post on this forum.


He pressured me to get baptized.

Thank you all, and Christ be your wisdom.
In orthodox spirituality we don't put pressure on someone to do something. We give an adivse and after that we respect the freedom of the other person. That's it.
And the person who advises you to rebel against your bishop (which may end in excommunication) is just a sign that this person never takes responsibility for his actions.
 

Nathanael

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Howdy ya'll, this is my first post on this forum.



Anyway, does anyone have thoughts about this? I am particularly interested in what the saints and councils say about this.
Second Council, 381 A.D.

Canon VII (7)

As for heretics who convert to Orthodoxy and join the portion of the saved, we receive them in accordance with the following procedure and custom: We receive Arians, and Macedonians, and Sabbatians, and Novatians who call themselves Catharoi and Aristeroi, and Tessareskaidekatitæ otherwise known as Tetraditæ, and Apollinarists, when they submit written statements, and anathematize every heresy that does not believe as the holy, catholic, and Apostolic Church of God believes, and are first sealed with holy Myron on the forehead, and the eyes, and the nose, and the mouth, and the ears; and in sealing them we say: ‘’Seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit.’’

Eunomians, on the other hand, who are baptized with one immersion, and Montanists who in this [City] are called Phrygians, and Sabellians who teach the son-fatherhood [of Christ], and who do other evil things as well; and all other heresies (for there are many hereabout, especially those hailing from the region of the Galatians), all of them that wish to join Orthodoxy we receive as pagans. And on the first day we make them Christians; on the second, catechumens. Then on the third day we exorcise them with the threefold blowing into their face and ears. And then we catechize them, and oblige them to spend sufficient time in the church and to listen to the Scriptures. And then we baptize them. (P, p. 163.)
 

Thetruthisgod

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In orthodox spirituality we don't put pressure on someone to do something. We give an adivse and after that we respect the freedom of the other person. That's it.
And the person who advises you to rebel against your bishop (which may end in excommunication) is just a sign that this person never takes responsibility for his actions.
He told me it was mine and every Christian's duty to hold their bishop accountable to orthodoxy. If I thought like that, why not just be a protestant? Who am I to question my bishop? I'm not an educated person. I have had doubts, even have been critical before. I realized in time that I didn't really understand. I feel safer in trusting.my bishop. If I don't obey the bishop, am I even orthodox?

The person in question defies orders from his own bishop, but he has a great deal of influence. Before I even met him I was told all sorts of fantastic things about him. Maybe some of these things are true, and maybe he is right about everything. But he is not my bishop, and I am in obedience to my bishop. My bishop, who has the authority to bind and loose says my baptism is acceptable, therefore it is. That settles it for me.

I entered the church in obedience, and Lord knows if I was told to get baptized I would!
 

Nathanael

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He told me it was mine and every Christian's duty to hold their bishop accountable to orthodoxy. If I thought like that, why not just be a protestant? Who am I to question my bishop? I'm not an educated person. I have had doubts, even have been critical before. I realized in time that I didn't really understand. I feel safer in trusting.my bishop. If I don't obey the bishop, am I even orthodox?

The person in question defies orders from his own bishop, but he has a great deal of influence. Before I even met him I was told all sorts of fantastic things about him. Maybe some of these things are true, and maybe he is right about everything. But he is not my bishop, and I am in obedience to my bishop. My bishop, who has the authority to bind and loose says my baptism is acceptable, therefore it is. That settles it for me.

I entered the church in obedience, and Lord knows if I was told to get baptized I would!
You are totally right. I mean 95 % of all orthodox bishops don't rebaptise in such cases (except in ROCOR) , if I'm right. So to think that we are more enlightened than them, is not really a sign of realizing our christian duty, especially if we are not theolgians and "only" laypeople. When we start to live orthodoxy in our head, instead in our heart, we start to see mainly just problems, dangers and heresies around us, but not our inner darkness.

If I judge my or any bishop, I lose contrition of heart in my prayer life, so I lose true prayer & tears. That's usually my only answer when people try to persuade me to join their judging & rebelling against a bishop.

Maybe this person who tells you to rebaptise, has just one blind spot in his spiritual life, but in the other spiritual & personal realms he may be an inspirational person, who with his talents and virtues contributes a lot for the parish life...
 

Nathanael

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If I judge my or any bishop, I lose contrition of heart in my prayer life, so I lose true prayer & tears. That's usually my only answer when people try to persuade me to join their judging & rebelling against a bishop.
Or I like also to say that I'm still not able to pray for my or that bishop with tears, so I have no inner spiritual strength to rebel against or to judge him. Or I would like to say ironically to the person in question, who I marvel how much & with deep compassion he prays for his bishop, so that God gave him such a power and authority so that he can even judge and rebel against him - he must be a saint!

It's very difficult if not impossible to argue with such persons with theological arguments, therefore I like to just point out indirectly the way of orthodox spirituality. Once I saw an abbott (just search for "abbot raphael" on youtube), who is famous for his strong preachings, how he was accused very aggressively by a very delusional woman with different kind of accusations for (uninterrupted) about 20 minutes. And the only reaction of abbott Raphael was: silence. He stood in front of the altar like a lamb, looking just humbly mostly with his head bowed. He reacted to none of her accusations. And she then left without receiving any answer from him. Therefore: Silence is also an option. Sometimes - with God's help - it's the best way to put a mirror in front of a person when they talk "nonsense" to us.
 
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Dominika

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In the Orthodox Church baptism is jsut one of other sacraments (mysteries) taht make you member of the Church - I mean chrismation and Eucharist. And baptism is also the most basic holy mystery, that in case of death can be done very fastly and just by believer, keeping the Trinitarian formula. So that's the first point.

The second point - chrismation itself, beign served separately from baptism, contaitns parts of baptism sacrament.

So yeah, chrismation and Eucharist + usually profession of faith are the holy sacrametns that fulfill teh baptism and make you member of the Christ's Church.
 

Thetruthisgod

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Many parishes have people “with a lot of clout”, and they’re all about equally useless.
Well, many people believe this man is clairvoyant, a performer of miracles, someone who appears to them in dreams, etc. He has a lot of spiritual children. When I say "a lot of clout", I mean he is respected by even people in high positions as being a real deal elder of the church. In fact, his influence is such that many people take him as even being more authoritative than say a bishop. Indeed, if his own bishop were to reprimand him, many would side with him over the bishop. He has quite a following.

He really isn't just any random joe. He is respected enough that I was referred to speak to him by a priest, a heiromonk, and a heiroschemamonk. He himself is clergy. I am not sure any of those who referred me to him are aware of the fact that he has a real preoccupation with getting those who enter the church through chrismation into getting rebaptized even in secret.

Of course, there is a policy among clergy to not speak badly about other clergymen, but this revelation did shock many of those that I go to, and they don't agree with him on this.

Really, he might be right about everything else, and in most respects is probably good council. He is very experienced and wise in many ways. However, at least concerning this subject he seems to be really off the mark. He told me even after presenting him many evidences that contradict his position that not even an ecumenical council would cause him to change his position, because he "knows better". I stopped talking to him after this meeting, because it really does seem schismatic.
 
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An individual with alleged mystical tendencies having such influence in the American Antiochian Orthodox Church seems really unusual. Especially someone who defies bishops really seems strange. Metropolitan Joseph does not seem to desire such manifestation and I fail to see (blessed memory) Metr Philip to have either.
 

Thetruthisgod

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An individual with alleged mystical tendencies having such influence in the American Antiochian Orthodox Church seems really unusual. Especially someone who defies bishops really seems strange. Metropolitan Joseph does not seem to desire such manifestation and I fail to see (blessed memory) Metr Philip to have either.
He's not in the Antiochan church. I probably shouldn't say more though.

Really, if I said the position he held and what jurisdiction he was a part of, it might make it too easy to figure out who he was. I really don't want to do that. All I will say is that it is probably a good idea to be careful around people who urge you to get baptized after already entering the church. The church at large, even the jurisdiction that this person belongs to does not teach this.

Also, he is a very persuasive individual, even amplified by his charism. I'd just be careful.
 

Ainnir

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If you're Antiochian, then do what your jurisdiction says. If you don't want to submit to that, then switch jurisdictions if possible. I think most of us were assuming you meant this person was in your own parish. If it's not even someone in your own jurisdiction, we really don't need to be having this conversation. There's a reason Orthodoxy is conciliar.

As to the rest, I'm sure you're not telling most of us anything we don't know. It seemed as if you were confused. If you're not, I think we can consider the matter settled. :)

And I'll add one last thought: remember the clergy at all levels are held more accountable before God than laypeople; and the accountability increases with the level of ordination and sphere of influence. Pray for this person and pray for all clergy.
 

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Really, he might be right about everything else, and in most respects is probably good council. He is very experienced and wise in many ways. However, at least concerning this subject he seems to be really off the mark.
Seems like you have a good handle on the situation. What I quoted of yours is a very level headed assessment.

Orthodoxy creates a space for a multiplicity of opinions by its lack of top down authority. Only our dogma is explicitly spelled out, and within the rest, there is some room for disagreement. This is a blessing in Orthodoxy, but as you've experienced, it also has downsides. However, you're wise to trust His Grace, Bp. Basil. He's a man to whom I entrust my soul as well. 😎
 
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