Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Why Presbyterians Do Not Believe that Baptism Regenerates Souls or Remits Sins

Ethan and the PreacherFrom time to time I run into Christians who believe that people must be baptized in order to be saved. We call this “baptismal regeneration,” because they believe that the act of baptizing in some way changes the heart. This position is fairly widespread outside of Baptistic and Reformed circles. The Roman Catholic Church believes that when infants are baptized, their original sin is washed away. Among other protestant denominations, the Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ, Christian Church, and Lutherans affirm some form of baptismal regeneration.

Occasionally I run into confused people even in Presbyterian churches. They have often come to Presbyterianism from more baptistic denominations in which it is not unusual to view infant baptism with suspicion, and where they may mistakenly come to believe that we teach some type of baptismal regeneration.

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