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Studies of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod
(1965 to 1982)

GUIDELINES TO DETERMINE VALID BAPTISM

[157th General Synod Minutes, 25 May 1979, p. 177; Documents of Synod, pp. 100.]


Overture C - Provide Guidelines to Determine Valid Baptism

"Whereas the Midwestern Presbytery in March of 1978 erected a study comittee to deal with the question: What constitutes valid baptism? May baptism be administered to one already baptized? and, May baptism ever be administered a second time if the first was valid, but the subject knew not its significance? and

"Whereas the study committee was evenly divided over whether a previous baptism with water in the name of the Triune God must or may not be deemed valid, and

"Whereas the Presbytery in January of 1979 urged presbyters to study an intermediate position in which a previous baptism with water in the name of the Triune God may be deemed valid, rather than must or may not be deemed valid, by the session of the local church, and

"Whereas the Presbytery in March of 1979 clarified its action by declaring that if a session deems a previous baptism to be valid, then baptism is not to be repeated (Westminster Confession, XXVIII,vii), and

"Whereas local churches use various criteria in deciding whether previous baptisms may have been valid,

"Therefore, the Midwestern Presbytery respectfully overtures the 157th General Synod to provide some guidelines or principles by which local sessions may decide whether previous baptisms with water in the name of the Triune God -- for example, Roman Catholic infant baptisms -- are to be deemed valid."

Submitted by order of Presbytery,
Of record March 9, 1979,
By Albert F. Moginot, Jr., Stated Clerk

RESPONSE:

Be it resolved to erect a study committee to provide some guidelines or principles by which local sessions may decide whether previous baptisms with water in the name of the Triune God are to be deemed valid.

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