Speaking where the bible speaks, and silent where the bible is silent.

There is a false doctrine which has infiltrated the churches of Christ which teaches that a Christian woman can baptize. These false teachers surmise that the bible did not command or restrict who should do the baptizing. Many in the church conclude that even a sinner can baptize someone and it be acceptable with God. Nevertheless, what saith the scripture (Gal 4:30).

First of all, let’s examine the false teaching that the bible never “commanded or restricted” who should baptize. If that teaching were correct, then meeting each Sunday to partake of the Lord’s supper can be done on any day. Why? Because the bible did not “command” Sunday worship nor did it “restrict” any other day to partake of the Lord’s supper. All we have is the biblical example where the disciples met on the first day of the week to break bread (Acts 20:7). I don’t know of one sound member of the Lord’s church which teaches one can take the Lord’s supper on any other day but Sunday, yet some churches of Christ teach that women can baptize because the bible never “Commanded or Restricted” them from doing so. Thus, the basic principle of speaking where the bible speaks and remaining silent where the bible is silent is established on which day Christians meet to remember the Lord’s death  based solely on a biblical example (1 Cor 4:6 f; 1 Pet 4:11).

Now, let us consider the question of who is to baptize according to the scripture. Take note of the great commission which says: “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt 28:18-20). In Mark’s gospel, after Jesus commanded his apostles to preach the gospel to all the world, these words are recorded: “And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following” (Mark 16:20) In these verses we can see a direct commandment of Jesus Christ to his apostles to both preach the gospel and to baptize. Take note, all of the apostles of Christ were men.

Now, let us consider the biblical examples of those who baptized every Christian convert in the New Testament. Peter and the other apostles on the day of Pentecost preached and baptized nearly 3,000 souls (Acts 2). In Acts chapter 8 Philip taught and baptized the Ethiopian Eunuch. Ananias both taught and baptized Saul (aka Paul) (Acts 9; Acts 22:16). In Acts chapter 10 Peter baptized Cornelius and his household. In Acts 16 the apostle Paul taught Lydia and her household and they were baptized. In the same chapter Paul and Silas taught the jailer and his household and they were baptized. Paul and Apollos taught the Corinthians, who had been baptized of John the baptist, and re-baptized them in the name of Jesus (1 Cor 19). In all of these examples of immersion, all were taught and all were baptized of Christian men.

There is no biblical example or commandment given anywhere in the new testament where a Christian woman ever taught the gospel, or baptized anyone, or assisted in a baptism. Also, we have no example where any Christian convert was baptized by a sinner. In fact, all biblical conversions required both the Christian male teacher and the one who desired to hear the gospel. In fact, we have both commandment and examples of where Christian men both taught the gospel and baptized.

Women were prohibited from speaking in the assembly even to the point of asking questions. “Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church” (1 Cor 14:34-35). Women also were prohibited from teaching the Word or usurping a man’s authority given to him by Jesus Christ (1 Cor 11:3). “Let a woman learn in silence with all submission.  And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control” (1 Tim 2:11-15). Christian women cannot serve as elders or deacons or in any place of authority (1 Tim 3:1-13). Christian women in the new testament were taught to be submissive to their own husband (Tit 2:3-5) and to be submissive to Christian men (1 Cor 14 f; 1 Tim 2). Thus, it is self evident that Christian women were prohibited from having the authority to teach the gospel and to baptize anyone. Any such baptism does not have the authority of Jesus Christ or His apostles and thus is invalid.

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Comments on: "Who Was Given The Authority To Baptize?" (1)

  1. Amen, very true, women shouldn’t preach.

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