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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.






13 February 2006

Christening and Baptism


Q: Are being baptized and being christened the same thing?

Christening GownA: Traditionally, “christening” was used as another word for baptism, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (Galatians 3:27)” The white baptismal garments that are used in much of the Christian Church show this.

However, there are some who do not believe in baptismal regeneration or infant baptism, but who desire to have some sort of church rite for their newborn children. These have invented various services of dedication that are sometimes also called “christenings” but which are not baptismal in nature.

An earlier post, Infant Baptism, Baptismal Regeneration, and Original Sin, addresses baptismal theology more explicitly.

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version™, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles.

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Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.

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