Your Baptism May Not Be Valid?


I read blogs on the blogging platform fairly regularly. Sometime I read a post’s title and it grabs me and I have to go read it. It happened to me over the weekend with a post title, “Sorry Sir, Your Baptism is Not Valid.” It was written by a guy named Dan Foster who is pastor of “Backyard Church.” From the way it sounds, it seems like a house church of sorts.

When I first started reading the post I thought it was a poor attempt at humor. I am not saying Pastor Foster was trying to turn it into humor, in fact he thought much the same as I did saying, “This is no joke.”

It seems that early in August 2020, Father Matthew Hood, associate pastor of St. Lawrence Parish in Utica, Michigan decided to watch a video of his own baptism. As he was watching, he heard a word that flipped his world upside down.

As the priest was saying the traditional Roman Catholic liturgy and said these words, “…We baptize you…” The actual liturgy says, “…I baptize you…” Father Hood was shocked and appalled by what he heard.

Since the liturgy was not followed correctly, it would seem that Father Hood was not technically baptized by Roman Catholic theology. For some 30 years Father Hood believed himself baptized and imagine his shock when he learned he was not.

To compound the problem, since Father Hood’s baptism wasn’t valid, neither was his confirmation which for Roman Catholics is a sacrament but is one dependent on baptism. Since his baptism was not valid, neither was his confirmation. It also meant that holy orders, another sacrament, ordination. So this Catholic priest learns in pretty short order that he isn’t baptized, confirmed, or properly ordained.

But that is not the end of it. It gets worse. Every person Father Hood baptized, is in the same jeopardy. As I understand Roman Catholic theology, God would not recognize their baptism and that could make them lose their salvation. The Church is frantically working to get in touch with all he baptized to inform them they need to be baptized again.

Things have gotten straightened out for Father Hood. As I understand it, he has been baptized, confirmed and ordained in pretty short order.

As I said, I am not an authority on Roman Catholic theology and the sacraments. I know there are seven – Baptism, Holy Communion, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders (ordination), Penance (confession and forgiveness), and Extreme Unction (anointing the sick and dying). Buy, my question would be, because he was considered not baptized and it, at best, calls the baptisms of people he baptized into question. Would that also void marriages, confession and forgiveness, extreme unction, and confirmation. Would that mean anyone to whom he served communion would have done so taking it in an unworthy manner?

I am not trying t flippant or wrongly share the theology of Roman Catholics. I am trying understand and where would it stop.

I understand the Methodist theology on baptism and I know it wouldn’t matter. Why? because we understand God to be the primary actor in baptism. God reaches down and pours out grace upon the one being baptized. It may be my voice saying the words of the liturgy. It may be my hands pouring the water or immersing the baptized but it is God who does the baptizing.

I don’t know if I have ever wrongly said the words of the baptism liturgy. It wouldn’t surprise me if I had. Its something I am pretty good at doing. But, the person would still be baptized. We believe that because God is the one who does the baptizing, that person is baptized. Also because God does the baptizing, we only baptize once. To baptize a person a second time is like telling God, “You didn’t do it right the first time so we have to fix the problem, blaming God for something we did wrong.

I also know this. It doesn’t change the way God feels about us.

Be blessed.

Seeking the Genuine,

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved


Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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