Southern Baptists annually report tens of thousands of baptisms throughout the world. What most people don’t know, however, is that a considerable percentage of those reported are actually re-baptisms. Why would someone be re-baptized? There is, in my opinion, only one reason to be re-baptized.
You need to be re-baptized if your baptism was unscriptural. Were you baptized B.C.; that is, before you came to Christ? If so, you need to be re-baptized. Were you immersed in water or merely sprinkled or christened? If you were not immersed, you should be re-baptized. Were you baptized by a proper authority, by a local church with a proper understanding of biblical baptism? If not, you need to be re-baptized.
A present-day bone of contention among some Southern Baptists is the issue of “alien immersion.” Although it sounds like the baptizing of extraterrestrials, it really has nothing to do with E.T. Instead, it is all about re-baptizing folks into our Southern Baptist churches who have been formerly baptized in other denominations.
According to some Southern Baptists, any baptism outside of Baptist’s circles is an alien immersion, necessitating the re-baptizing of everyone coming into our churches from other denominations. On the other hand, some Southern Baptists, such as myself, feel that the definition of alien immersion should be confined to baptisms performed outside biblical parameters, not Baptist’s circles. After all, the Scripture doesn’t limit legitimate baptism to the baptisteries of Southern Baptist churches.
To be re-baptized requires humility on the part of the candidate. His or her desire to obey Christ’s command must supersede their concerns over what others may think or say. I know this from personal experience, being one of the many Southern Baptists who have been re-baptized. I’m glad I swallowed my pride and submitted to being re-baptized. My second stirring of the baptismal waters in submission to my Savior’s command remains one of the greatest moments in my Christian life. It can prove to be a great moment in your Christian life as well, if you’re a Christian who has never been scripturally baptized.