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It is not uncommon for believers to be faithful for years, but "fall away", only to return years later with a reaffirmation of faith. Often this is common with teens who have a "wild" 20's and 30's, but return to the church in their middle age. But it is also plenty common outside of those specific ages.

Once returned to the fold, these new-old-believers often want and attain a second baptism, as a public show of their return to the faith.

Are there any Denominations which address a believer's second baptism? What is an overview of the beliefs on this common occurrence?


Note: This question is about adult believers who've been baptized, leave the faith, but return and desire a second baptism. This question is not about a believer's desire to be baptized despite having been by their parents as an infant.

  • As the question is no longer in pastoral advice form, I have reopened the question. However, it is still in danger of being a list question and/or a possible duplicate of this: Is there any sense in being baptized as an adult after being baptized as an infant? – El'endia Starman Aug 1 '14 at 16:43
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    Agreed; I'm flagging it as a duplicate. – Matt Gutting Aug 1 '14 at 17:20
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    It's not a duplicate. The other question is about getting baptized as an adult after infant baptism. To Baptists, infant baptism is not baptism at all. Just about all major denominations will say that, after a valid baptism, there should be no re-baptism -- that's what's being asked about here. – Mr. Bultitude Aug 1 '14 at 17:29
  • The reason I edited and nominated the question for reopening is that the poster seems to be in a quandary as to whether or not his original Baptism was sufficient after having fallen away and returning. I could answer it from my impressions of the Scriptures, but that might conflict with his particular denominational doctrine. I believe that this question is very different from others along the line of rebaptism. And needs to be answered by Denominations having a specific doctrine about rebaptism. – BYE Aug 1 '14 at 17:41
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    Is this a 'list' question (which denominations do this and why)? Or is it ok to respond from any perspective and give only one perspective? – Dan Aug 1 '14 at 18:39
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"Should they get re-baptized"s off-topic - it's opinion-based. However, here's a sample of what some teach and practice.

In various Churches that I've attended, including Baptist, Evangelical Free, and local community non-denominational Bible Churches, getting baptized again is fairly common.

This is based on the belief that Baptism doesn't save us, but is, instead, an outward sign of obedience to God.

In such denominations, the belief is that being baptized doesn't do anything to save us. Rather, it's a symbolic, outward profession of our faith, and our rebirth in Christ.

(Reference to back that up at Doing Baptism Baptist Style.)

In cases such as that, it's entirely appropriate to go through another baptism. Re-committing your life to Christ is perfectly valid, and to go through a ritual that symbolizes this is perfectly OK, but not required.

They don't see it as necessary because to these groups, baptism wasn't necessary in the first place.

As an analogy, to groups that see Baptism from this perspective, it's no different than renewing your wedding vows.

More specific to your question, there are several denominations that address this. For example, the La Vista Church of Christ has this to say in their article on the topic:

Reading the article makes it apparent that they believe that baptism does have an effect, yet they say that it's appropriate to do a second baptism, and also use the renewing of the vows analogy.

(I'd recommend the full article. This is just the closing paragraph)

Being baptized is compared to the Old Testament practice of being circumcised. "In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead" (Colossians 2:11-12). The very nature of circumcision is an act that can be performed only once. Similarly, baptism is related to marriage. "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish" (Ephesians 5:25-27). Marriage is for life. Some renew their vows, but that renewal doesn't make the original vow of non-effect or say that the couple was any less married prior to the renewal. Renewed vows have no true effect on a marriage, but still some people like to have the reminder.

  • Thank you for answering this question, even though you apparently believe it is not a right fit for the site. I have a hard time ignoring questions which show some confusion about Biblical truths. Even though we are not an evangelical site and I agree with that, but I do like to help where confusion or misreading of the Scriptures seems apparent. – BYE Aug 2 '14 at 20:14
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Most denominations I’ve been involved with would do This:

1) first baptism is valid 2) the backslider doesn’t invalidate the baptism. 3) if you want to get Rebaptised go ahead.

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    Also my experience. In fact, my only experience. My only complaint with your answer would be that there's not a lot of detail here. This site strives to really delve into the answers. The community craves specifics and deep analysis. If you'd like to provide more to your answer you can simply edit it in. If you don't want to, no big deal, but you probably won't get any upvotes. Welcome to the site! – fredsbend Dec 26 '18 at 19:07

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