Does the Book of Acts Teach Spontaneous Baptisms?

"Spontaneous baptisms have been receiving a lot of attention of late. With the hashtags #BaptismSunday and #FilltheTank, Southern Baptist Convention leadership have been calling on SBC churches to participate in a nationwide push for baptisms this Easter Sunday, April 12....Some of these baptisms will happen after several weeks of discipling and deciding; many of them will happen spontaneously." - 9 Marks

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TylerR's picture


No spontaneous baptisms!

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

dgszweda's picture

No it doesn't, but I do think that it teaches that baptisms should follow salvation in a rather rapid fashion.  There is also a growing trend on the other side of the fence to limit baptisms to adults, ensure that fruit is seen, go through a series of classes....  I am not convinced in terms of what is laid out in the podcast.  I feel that there is an approach outlined in the podcast that starts with the premise that we need to protect the integrity of the church membership and so they come at it with this premise and then build the case up through the gaps that are present in Scripture.  I think all examples of baptism in Scripture are either spontaneous (Ethiopian Eunuch) or fairly close in timeframe to salvation.  I struggle with how we can be faithful in teaching that baptism is important and that it carries a certain message, while at the same time putting up walls to climb over or 3-4 month wait times to meet with elders, pastor visit, membership classes....  I am all for being careful in protecting the membership, but I am also careful in what we put up and the price we pay to get to that point.

Mark_Smith's picture

Clearly spontaneous baptisms happened in the book of Acts, so they are allowed if appropriate. Is it required? No.