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Baptism Baptism is the Christian Initiation Ceremony whereby a person is initiated into and welcomed by the faith community into the Faith. Literally,

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Presentation on theme: "Baptism Baptism is the Christian Initiation Ceremony whereby a person is initiated into and welcomed by the faith community into the Faith. Literally,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Baptism Baptism is the Christian Initiation Ceremony whereby a person is initiated into and welcomed by the faith community into the Faith. Literally, Baptism identifies the believer by initiation also into the Trinitarian family i.e. the Godhead.

2 The variants within Christianity describe the practice of Baptism very differently according to their beliefs about its purpose and role within the religion Comes from the Greek Word baptein and is a ritual purification by water

3 H.S.C. Dot Points Significant practices in the life of adherents ONE significant practice within Christianity drawn from: Baptism Marriage ceremony Saturday/Sunday worship describe ONE significant practice within Christianity drawn from: Baptism Marriage ceremony Saturday/Sunday worship demonstrate how the chosen practice expresses the beliefs of Christianity analyse the significance of this practice for both the individual and the Christian community

4 What you will be required to do Provide a definition of the practice and include variants in the definition. Use terminology all through Discuss the features and you must know three of them thoroughly. These must be linked clearly to the faith for each variant and you must show how it links. With the Protestant variant, you need to specify the variant and which denomination you are using in your issue. Use of Scripture and Church Teaching and quoting them specifically is important to back up your analysis You must be able to analyse Baptism, discussing the variants and how and why Baptism assists the individual and adherents in the development and expression of Christianity. Analyse and Evaluate the Significance of Baptism for the individual and adherents of the faith addressing variants.

5 What you will be required to do: -Need to look at its significance within Christianity (including scriptures), especially how Baptism reflects key beliefs of Christianity -A significant practice is one which gives meaning in the lives of adherents. -For Christians the first of these practices in their lives is Baptism -For some, it is a formal acceptance into a Church, for others it is a public statement of faith by themselves or their parents – For ALL it is a significant practice

6 Baptism among the variants For Catholics, Baptism is Sacramental and covenantal. i.e. Christ is present in the presence of the ordained minister and it links them personally to Christ, as members of the Christian family, and with it, the promise of new life in Him through the covenantal promise of salvation and eternal life. For Protestants such as Anglicans, Presbyterians and Uniting, Baptism is a symbol of entry into the Christian Community. Some Anglicans see Baptism as a sacrament and necessary for salvation but not all. Presbyterians and Uniting Church do not see Baptism as essential for Salvation, rather, faith alone is necessary for this. For Orthodox, Baptism is entry into the church as a child of God, and is sacramental and covenantal i.e. a member of the body of Christ. Through Baptism, Orthodox believers understand that they are mystically born into spiritual life so that in growing in body and spirit, one might grow in Christ and share in His offer of Salvation at life’s end. The baby is immersed three times to symbolise the belief in the Trinity. Likewise, and adult entrant into the Orthodox faith, is immersed three times also.

7 Adult Baptism In the Catholic church, adult candidates enter through a process known as the R.C.I.A. ( Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) whereby they go through the process of training and enter the Church at Easter which was the traditional time for Catechumens to enter the Christian Church. The Baptism is followed by the reception of the other Sacraments of initiation, communion and confirmation. An adult entrant into the Orthodox Church receives all three sacraments of Initiation if they haven’t already been baptised in another Christian church. The Protestant variant, Anglican also bestows Confirmation on new candidates to the faith during their baptism after a process of preparation. At the same service, the candidate also receives the Eucharist or the Lord’s supper. Some protestant evangelical variants, such as Seventh Day Adventists, Church of Christ and Baptist denominations practice Adult ( believers’) baptism i.e. when candidates are old enough to commit to being a Christian usually an adult. Salvation Army and Society of Friends (Quakers) do not require Baptism in order to follow Christ. Some evangelical Churches gather at a beach, river, lake or swimming pool to witness total immersion which is the usual practice for entering the faith..

8 Baptism Baptism, by its name is baptising someone with water into the Christian faith. The candidate is welcomed into the Christian community by the faith community, family and friends. This ceremony is known as Baptism. Just as Jesus was baptised, so Christians from the earliest times, were also practising this rite of passage as the accepted entry into the Christian Faith. In the early Christian community, most of those who converted, were adults and then their families also followed. Hence the fact that adult baptism was the most common form of baptism which was then followed by children and babies.

9 Baptism

10 The features of Baptism Immersion or the application of water is one of the features of Baptism. Depending on which variant, the child or adult is either immersed in the holy water or has the water poured over the head as the ordained minister says the prayers which initiate the person into the faith. Usually in the Orthodox variant, the person or baby is immersed 3 times( links to the Trinity). Catholics and the Protestant variant, Anglicans usually pour water over the head. In some modern churches in both variants, a person can choose to be immersed or have water poured over the head. Catholics, Anglicans and Orthodox all use water which has been blessed and the person is baptised in the name of the Trinity which signifies the Christian belief in the Trinity. The Scripture passage in the previous slide makes reference to the Father, Son and Spirit which links to the Christian belief in the Trinity.

11 The features of Baptism The water, itself is a major feature of Baptism. The place where the Baptism occurs is called a font. Here is a picture of two types of fonts, a traditional font and one where a full immersion can take place. The larger one is sometimes referred to as a Baptismal pool. In Jesus’ time, people were baptised usually in rivers or small ritual baths, common to Roman culture, and the ritual places of washing attached to the synagogues. Water signifies cleanliness, thus the use of water washes sin away and the person is born anew in the Christian faith i.e. the belief is that they are born in to the living flowing waters of life in Christ. Baptism is usually performed by a priest, minister, bishop or deacon in the Christian Church. The significance of Baptism can be seen in these words of Jesus from John 3:3 5-6, 8 “ Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and of the Spirit. “ So Jesus reminds Christians of the importance of Baptism to the Christian Tradition.

12 Features of Baptism Water has featured prominently in the Christian tradition in Creation, The saving of Noah from the flood Gen.7-8, Moses dividing the waters of the Red sea Ex 14, Jesus being baptised in the Jordan. In all these events, the power of God is seen as is the Christian belief in the significance of the Sacred Jewish Scripture to the Christian tradition. Sacred Text – The Bible is a major feature of a Christian Baptism. As such, each Christian variant uses the Sacred Scripture in Readings which link the faithful to the teachings of Christ. The Christian Scriptures inform adherents that Baptism is significant for Salvation and must be preceded by faith (Acts 8:13) and repentance (Acts 2: 38). Furthermore, Christians are reminded of the tradition of the Church and the baptism of believers in the early Church, the essential act of faith and the desire to follow Christ anew. The Word of the Lord links adherents to the Living God who came to save them. “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” Jn 14: 6

13 Features of Baptism Prayers- Catholics, Orthodox and the Protestant variant, Anglican all have a specific Rite for the initiation of a person into the faith. This Rite involves prayers. These prayers are centred around a renewal of the faith community’s baptismal vows and a desire by the parents and God parents for the Child or the person to reject Satan and follow Christ. All three variants also recite the Our Father and the Creed, the statement of faith, to symbolise their link to their Christian beliefs. God parents support the Christian family in their role of sharing in the life of the child. Oil -The candidate is anointed with the oil of Catechumens and baptised with the living water of Christ. (The oil of Catechumens is a special olive oil mixed with balsam and blessed.) If the candidate is entering the orthodox Church, or is an adult candidate entering the Catholic or Anglican Church at Easter, they will also be anointed with the oil of Chrism and confirmed into the faith at the same time. This oil provides both healing and strength associated with the rebirth in Christ. ( The oil of Chrism is similar to the oil of Catechumens mixed with balsam and blessed at a Chrism Mass with the oil of Catechumens. ) Chrismation ( confirmation) with the oil of Chrism.

14 Features of Baptism White Gown or garment is usually worn by infant candidates as it symbolises purity, righteousness and cleanliness. The idea behind this is that if young infants die, they are sinless and go straight to heaven. White, itself is metaphorical for the cleansing associated with Baptism and new life. White indicates being freed from the chains of sin and thus joined to the body of Christ. Gal 2: 20 Candle symbolises the light of Christ as Baptism is significant of new life in Christ, the Candle reminds adherents of this (Jn 8: 12). Literally, the person being baptised is born into new life in Christ and identify with His life, death and resurrection in the hope that they will inherit eternal life with Him in Heaven. Col. 2: 12,20

15 Features of Baptism The Faith Community, relatives, friends, and God parents, those, adherents of the Christian faith who give witness to the baptism as members of the Church who will support and encourage the candidate on their faith journey also. By coming together in Christ, they believe that they are all parts of the one body of Christ and can share in salvation by living like Christ and giving witness to the teachings of the Gospel and assisting new candidates to join in the Christian ministry. The individuals believe that Christ is present in the gathered community “where two or more are gathered in my name, I shall be there in the midst of them”. (Matt 18 : 20) i.e. the adherents believe that as members of a Christian community, Christ is present with them at their gathering and that they are united in Christ in belief. (Galatians 3: 26- 28)

16 Significance of Baptism Baptism means the Baptised person is saved and becomes a member of the community. An infant who is baptised will be raised in the faith with the family and friends witnessing and supporting them. When the child is old enough, in the Roman Catholic and Protestant variant, Anglican faith, they can then choose to be accepted as an adult in the faith by going through a confirmation ceremony. Catholics and Orthodox believe that through the sacraments, the candidates receive God’s grace. Grace is necessary for people to live like Christ. Unlike Catholics and Orthodox, Protestants believe is not necessary to be baptised to receive grace, as they can receive God’s grace freely.

17 Significance of Baptism For Protestant, evangelical Churches where adult Baptism is practised, believers then submit to the will of God and are obedient to the teachings of Christ and model their lives on Him, coming together, worshipping and doing good deeds. Likewise in the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, believers worship together, support the faith community, model their lives on Christ and do good deeds for others. However, their significance is also Sacramental and Covenantal i.e. they believe that they are the inheritors of the New Covenant of Jesus therefore, in following him, they can achieve Salvation into the heavenly Kingdom. The Protestant variants Anglicans, Uniting, Lutherans and Presbyterians also worship together, support each other, live good lives like Christ and do good for others. Thus Baptism is an initiation Rite into the Christian community whereby the adherents embrace the teachings of Christianity to “love one another” Matt 22: 36.

18 Analysis of Baptism Catholics, Orthodox and most Anglicans see Baptism as a Sacrament i.e. an outward and visible sign of an inward, invisible grace i.e. the Spirit of the Lord is with the believer and bestows the necessary graces on them to enable them to follow Christ. All Christian variants that accept Baptism see it as acceptance into the faith community much like circumcision is to the Jewish community. They regard Baptism as the new Testament form of the Jewish Covenant. Once a person is baptised into the Christian faith, that baptism is accepted by all Christian denominations even if that person wished to change from one to the other later. However, advocates of adult baptism believe that it is up to the individual to choose when to accept the teachings of Christ as an infant can’t really know what it entails. For believers of adult baptism, one has to “hear the Gospel, repent and be Baptised.” For them, Baptism is a public profession of faith, an acknowledgement of their willingness to accept Christ and follow him. This is accepted most commonly in the Baptist and Pentecostal Churches.

19 Analysis of Baptism At Baptism, the accepted form in Christian Churches is baptism with water and profession of faith for and on behalf of the person being baptised. This virtually embraces the teachings of Christ and righteousness, and renounces Satan and all evil. In most Christian variants, Baptism is performed by an ordained minister. Baptism symbolises that the believer has been washed and cleansed of their sins by the blood of Jesus. Therefore Baptism represents a living relationship with Jesus Christ. The Protestant variant, Baptists, usually carry out baptisms as part of a Sunday service. Believers publicly acknowledge their belief in Christ. The Baptism is not as important as the public affirmation of faith.

20 Analysis of Baptism The image of water in Baptism, aligns with the womb, and rebirth in John’s Gospel. John 3:3. Thus water for John, symbolises new life in Christ and a need to believe in Him. It follows then that this rebirth is being born from the chains of original sin into the life of the Spirit in Christ. Christians, in accepting Christ into their lives are urged to “turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel”. Repentance and forgiveness are associated with Baptism and adherents of Christianity embrace this in their lives of prayer and worship giving praise to God and asking for mercy as they too must show mercy to others. Matt. 5: 3- 10. For Christians, baptism is entry into the body of Christ 1Co. 12:13 with the understanding that each one is an integral part who are the living hands, mind and feet of Christ on earth born to bring the Kingdom of God to fruition on earth and bring the adherent into the eternal Kingdom of God.

21 Analysis of Baptism Baptism is a Rite of passage for Christians entering the faith. It marks a sense of belonging to the community, a sharing in the community and all it offers, and a commitment to follow the teachings of the community. Therefore, it is a calling to be faithful to the Gospel, to embrace the life and teachings of Christ in word and action. Luke 18: 22 “Come Follow Me”. Thus the act of Baptism unites the believers in Christ and with the Christian community. It further assures adherents of the forgiveness of sins and is central to the life of a Christian. In the Orthodox Church, the person is united to Christ through the waters of Baptism and is mysteriously crucified, buried with Christ and raised to new life in Christ. Hence it is a transformation.

22 Analysis of Baptism Generally for the Protestant variants, Baptism is symbolic of Christ and the Christian community but nevertheless, it allows them to embrace the unity of the community, the teachings of Christ and learn and support each other. While some denominations see baptism as the washing away of sin, others see it as an exorcism of evil but it identifies the believers with Christ. Catholics, regard Baptism as necessary for discipleship and commitment and as such, it is the first of the seven sacraments which the adherent is able to receive through the Church. Each one, being a Rite of Passage in which the adherent can share with the community in Christ, receive grace and the Holy Spirit, and become a part of the mystical body of Christ. All variants believe in the words of 1Peter 2:5 that Baptism allows us to share in the priesthood of all believers, by personally involving each of us in faith and the eschatological reality of eternal life with Christ in Heaven.

23 Bibliography perspective.html?zx=3b2e77a5955c504 perspective.html?zx=3b2e77a5955c504 Books Excel HSC Studies of Religion 1 and 11( 2008) Bulmer, P. and Doret, K., Pascal Press, Glebe, Aust. Hayward, P. (2007) HSC Studies of Religion, Macmillan Education Aust., South Yarra. Living Religion(1993) Morrissey, J Pearson Education, Melbourne, Australia.

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