Question: What are baptismal practices of other faith groups?

Question: What are baptismal practices of other faith groups?

            There are two main baptismal practices in churches.  There is infant baptism and believer’s baptism.  Infant baptism is most often practiced by those in the Catholic Church and those who follow a Covenant Theology (although neither would agree on the other’s theology) and the parent makes the decision on behalf of the child.   Believer’s baptism is taught by most other churches who teach that the person must make his own profession of faith and submersion into water is the normal mode.

            Those who teach infant baptism draw upon several concepts for support.  First, because circumcision was the sign of the Abraham Covenant and it identified the boy with the nation of Israel, infant baptism is said to be a continuation of identifying the infant with the family of God.  Also, many use the proximity of circumcision and baptism in the Colossians 2:11-12 as being significant.  James Buswell in his A Systematic Theology of the Christian Religion states that infant baptism indicates membership in the covenant, not necessarily personal faith (2:262).
            Secondly, an historical argument states that church fathers supported infant baptism which identifies the child with the church.   However, some in the early church also taught baptismal regeneration (you must be baptized in order to be saved), which is error (heresy).
            Thirdly, there are examples from Scripture where whole households were baptized (Acts 11:14; 16:15, 31; 18:8; 1 Cor. 1:16).  It is argued that infants were included.
Yet there is another view against infant baptism.  Scripture always follows an order of “believe and then be baptized” (Matt. 3:2-6; 28:19; Acts 2:37-38; 16:14-15, 34).  Secondly, baptism is considered an initiation rite of joining the Christian believing community and therefore must be done only with believers. Thirdly, the passages that describe those who were baptized in the households, had believed. This would exclude infants. Fourthly, if the infant were baptized, in the case of one believing parent and one unbelieving parent, then that unbelieving parent would be baptized and that seems to contradict Scriptural intent.
Within the spectrum of those who follow believer’s baptism, there is a divergence of the mode, but most accept immersion into water.  The divergence of the mode consists of whether the baptism should be in a baptistery, lake, or running stream or river.  Some prefer a stream or river, because the water is considered living. 
Immersion is symbolic of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.  Immersion into the water is identification with the death and burial of Jesus.  It recognizes a death to the old way of living as an unbeliever.  Coming out of the water is identification with the resurrection of Jesus to a new resurrection life.  It is recognition and proclamation of walking in newness of life in the power of the Holy Spirit.
There are some denominations and religions who teach that baptism is necessary for salvation.  This is called baptismal regeneration.  Grace sees that baptism is an ordinance and as a public proclamation of faith, but not a requirement for salvation.
Regarding the view of other religious beliefs on baptism, please note the table below.  

Baptisms of Other Religions
It expresses a person’s personal faith in Christ, who died for our sins. By immersion only. Baptisms by other churches are accepted on conditions.
It is not necessary for salvation. By immersion only. Baptisms of other churches accepted if done by immersion. Infants are not baptized. Candidates must first believe.
By pouring, sprinkling or immersion. Baptisms of other churches accepted when performed as Catholic Church prescribes. Necessary for salvation. Infants are baptized.
Baptism is not a physically manifested rite or ritual. Do not immerse, sprinkle or do any outward ordinance. Baptism is the spiritual purification of daily life.
Through the Atonement, Christ the Redeemer and Savior assured redemption, or resurrection, for all. Provides for salvation and exaltation according to our personal worthiness. The baptismal covenant is the first covenant a person makes with God. Members are baptized at the age of 8, the age at which they begin to take accountability for their sins.
Done by immersion, showing one’s obedience. Symbolic of death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Only those old enough to know what they are doing when they confess the name of Christ are baptized.
By immersion for the remission of sins and entrance into church. Essential to salvation must be performed by one holding proper priesthood authority. Required of all 8 years & older. Infants are not baptized.
By immersion or pouring. In an emergency any Christian may baptize saying “in the name of the Father, Son & Holy Ghost”. Necessary to salvation. Infants are baptized.
By immersion, in lake or river, no fonts in Kingdom Hall. Symbolizes being dead to old way of life. Baptism does not cleanse from sin. Infants are not baptized.
By sprinkling, pouring or immersion. Baptisms performed by other churches accepted when all Bible conditions are met. Necessary to salvation except in rare instances. Infants are baptized.
By sprinkling, pouring, or immersion. Is only an outward sign of one’s entrance into the church. Baptisms of other churches accepted. Not necessary to salvation. Infants are baptized.
By sprinkling, pouring, or immersion which ever method is preferred by the applicant. Baptisms of other churches accepted. Not necessary for salvation. Infants are baptized.
Do not believe in outward ritual of baptism. The ongoing spiritual process should not be treated as an event. Inward baptism and communion are most important to spiritual life.
Do not baptize. Members are admitted by the following covenant “In the love of truth and spirit of Jesus we unite for the worship of God and the service of man,” or by signing statement of ethical purpose.
Done at time of confirmation and reception into church. Infants presented by parents or sponsor. Usually performed by sprinkling.
            The above chart was obtained from: http://www.religionresourcesonline.org/different-types-of-religion/compare/baptism.php

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