Monday, October 20, 2014

Walther, 1906. Chapter 14, "The Liturgical Customs of Baptism"

Chapter 14, “The Liturgical Customs of Baptism” pp. 100-106

Baptismal services Walther endorses contain many elements. Some are by God’s command, some, though not commanded, were used by the apostles, some have entered into practice since then. The elements commanded by God are to be defended. The others are not required. Those which were not commanded by God but appear in the Bible are normally treated as important customs.

One of the oldest customs (p. 101) is that of giving a name, which parallels the naming at circumcision. Among other customs we find an exorcism, which has been neglected but may be of importance. Walther also mentions sponsors, who should be godly people who will encourage the new believer in the true faith. Emergency baptism should not be required because of the pastor’s unwillingness to come in cases of emergency. The pastor should confirm the emergency baptism promptly.

Above all (p. 106) the baptism is very important and must be treated as such, with all reverence.

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