I had an unbiblical baptism / was baptized unbiblically? Do I need to be rebaptized?
Some people wonder if they need to be rebaptized, or baptized again, if they were baptized unbiblically in the past. What is the correct response?
To begin, a person needs to be clear about what they mean about being baptized unbiblically. Examples usually fall into one of three categories. First, some are baptized as an infant and then want to be baptized after salvation. Because the person now understands salvation, it is perfectly acceptable and desirable to be baptized again.
Second, a person's baptism took place before they were saved. This often occurs in churches where baptism is emphasized with children or teenagers who feel pressured to be baptized before understanding the gospel. In these cases, being baptized again would be important as well.
Third, a person may have been baptized by sprinkling or pouring in another church and would like to be baptized by immersion to follow the historic biblical example. In this case a person could rightly ask to be baptized again.
One category that is questionable relates to being baptized to become part of a different denomination. Some churches require that a person be baptized in their particular church to become a church member in their denomination. This is not required biblically. You are free to choose whether to accept this requirement.
Another category that has become popular among many evangelical Christians is to be rebaptized at a popular historic site. In particular, many Christians receive a baptism in the Jordan River when visiting Israel in order to receive baptism in the same place John the Baptist baptized. This is not necessary and may even send the wrong message to others regarding the purpose of baptism.
While being baptized again may be a difficult and awkward situation in one's church or among family members, there are occasions in which this could be important. You may also wish to consult with your minister to further discuss your particular situation to determine whether being baptized again would be appropriate for you.
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