To be rebaptized?

May 4, 2020 by

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For me the most significant words in “Should Anabaptists Still Rebaptize?” (Blog, April 20) by Gareth Brandt were those of J. Denny Weaver: “Baptism was not the most defining issue [even] at the beginning of the radical movement. . . . It was a symbol of discipleship or the following of Jesus [which] became the normative way to discuss the nature of the Christian life.”

I would remind John Roth (also quoted in the article) of an occasion in the church in which he grew up. A women from a Lutheran background married a Mennonite man, and they began to attend a Mennonite church. She asked to be accepted as a member. When told of the potential requirement of rebaptism because her infant baptism did not meet the requirements of the Mennonite church, she objected. She felt the catechism of the Lutheran church, with subsequent confirmation, was comparable to what the Mennonite church did with their conversion and baptism. To be rebaptized would dishonor her spiritual heritage. She felt the Mennonite insistence on rebaptism bordered on sacramentalism.

To its credit, the church agreed to accept her in the usual way of receiving people from other denominations. She was a valuable addition to the congregation, serving later as church chair and in other positions.

Larry Eby
Albany, Ore.

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