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Roman Baptism

Roman Baptism

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Published by Wes Baker

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Published by: Wes Baker on Aug 07, 2010
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The French Reformed Church, under intense persecution, sought help
from Geneva in persuading the French authorities to protect, or at least
tolerate them. They submitted to the Genevan ministers a copy of the
confession they planned to present to the rulers in France, asking for
advice and help in perfecting it. Calvin and two other men worked up a
detailed revision and sent it back to them. Then, with only a few more
changes, it was approved as the confession of the French Reformed
Churches. The confession grants that Rome, as an institution, cannot
be considered a true church of Christ. This data by itself, however, is
still insufficient (they suggest) to determine the question of Roman
baptism. A church may very well be apostate and still have a valid
baptism. The French Confession argues that this is in fact the case with
Rome. This excerpt is from paragraph 28 of the translation found in
the appendix to William Henry Foote’s The Hugonots; or the
Reformed French Church (Harrisonburg, VA: Springle Publications
2002 [1870]).

XXVIII  In this belief we protest that when the word of God is not
received, and when there is no professed subjection to it, and where
there is no use of the sacraments, if we will speak properly, we cannot
judge that there is any church.  Wherefore we condemn those
assemblies in the papacy, because the pure word of God is banished
out of them, and for that in them the sacraments are corrupted,
counterfeited, falsified, or utterly abolished, and for that among them,



all kinds of superstitions and idolatries are in full vogue.  We hold thus
that all those who meddle with such actions, and communicate with
them, do separate and cut themselves off from the body of Christ
Jesus.  Yet nevertheless, because there is yet some small trace of a
Church in the papacy, and that baptism as it is in the substance, hath
been still continued, and because the efficacy of baptism doth not
depend upon him who doth administer it, we confess that they which
are thus baptized do not need a second baptism.  In the meanwhile,
because of those corruptions which are mingled with the administration
of that sacrament, no man can present his children to be baptized in
that Church without polluting his conscience.


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