categories: global church, global culture
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March 30th, 2009

by Bobby Gruenewald

20 comments (+ Add)


I just returned from a visit to the UK and saw this article about people paying for certificates of “de-baptism.”  Basically, people in the UK and other parts of the world are publicly denouncing their Christian baptisms.

So here are a couple of questions for you all:

  • Is this the result of humanistic cultural influences? Or is this the outcome of “religion”?
  • Is this happening in the US? If not, how long until it is?

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  1. 1blake
    Mar 30, 2009 at 9:50 am

    seems to me like the outcome of religion. and i think this kind of things has been happening for a long time but now they are making it official with an actual document.

    not so new mission field - the de-baptized.

  2. Mar 30, 2009 at 10:23 am

    yep, here in Guatemala has been happening since… forever…
    People call it “de-accept” because, first, they’ve accepted the Lord’s sacrifice.
    and, for what i saw in the article, somebody is making money with these, je.

  3. Mar 30, 2009 at 10:43 am

    Bobby, I believe this has been happening for all the time. At least there’s people that has the nerve to accept the fact that they despise Jesus sacrifice. At least they’re not lukewarm but totally cold and proud of it. It’s sad, don’t get me wrong, but at least you can know where this people stand.
    I think that, here in Guatemala and the US and the whole world, there is a lot of people that want to go de-baptism or de-accepted, but don’t dare to do it. Religious people, like the beggar in Acts 3, close enough to the church to be “good” and get some crumbs, but never willing to get into the presence of God and eat at the feast.
    Really… it’s so sad, and I ask: Isn’t the church somehow responsible for all this, since we have made an easy to swallow christianity? I mean, Jesus said either you’re in or you’re out, but we have said “you can stay at the door… and beg”.
    But God don’t want beggars at His doors because He doesn’t givew crumbs. He gives ALL ABUNDANT LIFE!

  4. Mar 30, 2009 at 11:09 am

    Good questions, Bobby. I haven’t heard of it officially happening in the US, but I agree with Blake. I think it has been happening unofficially for a long time.

    I would attribute it to religion. I don’t think anyone who has truly tasted the goodness of the Lord would ever want to be de-baptized.

    Some will see this as a horror, but I think it is awesome. Jesus himself said that he wished people were either cold or hot. It makes our job as disciple-makers a lot easier when we know which is which, and these people are making it clear. I hope the trend spreads.

  5. Mar 30, 2009 at 11:16 am

    I’d like to know if it’s denouncing infant baptisms or baptisms by choice.

  6. Mar 30, 2009 at 11:25 am

    I just did a Google search of de-baptism, and it appears mostly to be a trend among those baptized as infants. Since the Anglican church does that and is by far still the largest church in England, it’s a little less surprising. The article Bobby linked attributes the likely start of the trend to an Italian organization and said that there was a court case over it in Spain, both of which are largely Catholic countries.

  7. Mar 30, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Bobby, people have been voting with their feet for a good long while now. All you have to do is mention the word “Televangelist” to see it in action. I have to agree with chejoo…someone is making money. I think buying a Shamwow would be a wiser use of their money.

    The saddest part in this movement as I see it is they no longer see the church as a relevant part of their life or society. Instead they see the church as meddling. Fortunately, some dialog has begun within the church to address this problem (see the book “UnChristian” by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons).

  8. 9AbsD
    Mar 30, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Intersting article… however, it is Catholics renouncing their christening… not believer Baptism. Therefore, I don’t know that I disagree with the action. Don’t Catholics believe that christening babies assures them entrance into heaven? Believers know this is not true - baptism is an “outward desplay of an inward decision”. So, maybe they should call it de-Christening… or am I playing the semantics game?

  9. 10Judy
    Mar 30, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    Baptism is not something we do to ourselves. Rather it is something God does to us. (Colossians 2:11-13) The former way of thinking about our baptism is very legalistic. As long as we view our baptism as something that we have personally accomplished, all the while ignoring what God Himself accomplishes through our union with Christ in this manner, then we will view it as perfectly disposable. (i.e. a certificate, whoever heard of such a thing?) I suspect that in the UK, one’s baptism is inextricably corporately tied to the Church. Therefore if one is disenchanted with the “church,” the most obvious means of denouncing the church and therefore also your affiliation, would be to present such a legal document as a “certificate” denouncing and nullifying the very thing that tied you to the church to begin with. This is not at all too different from a certificate of divorce. Therein lies the crux of the problem both there and HERE. We have all been baptized into Christ-none other. (1 Cor 1:13; Galations 3:27; Romans 6:1-7;) Paul the apostle adamantly pointed this out in 1 Cor. 1! And, though many here and abroad wish to “legitimize” or validate a person’s baptism based solely on the name of the church where it occurred, the truth is this is scripturally wrong. It is only by the resurrection of Jesus Christ that our baptism holds any meaning at all. 1 Peter 3:19-21 It is indeed Jesus Christ with whom we have been united in that watery grave. And it is because of Him we spring up from that grave with a new life. (2 Cor. 5:17) I can move a thousand miles away (hey, I have done that) go to a completely different church, and guess what, I do not have to be “re baptized” No indeed! God’s grace and His promise to me from Galations 3:26-27) go with me wherever I go.

  10. 11blake
    Mar 30, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    i will say this - baptist churches will baptize anyone so that they can record that on their scorecard.

    for example - when i was 7 years old i walked the aisle and said all the right answers…

    and then 11 years later when i was 18 i decided to give my life to Jesus. whether it is an infant baptism or “believer’s” baptism - the fact is that people are walking away from the Church.

    and as followers of Christ - we have to do something to reach the de-baptized or de-accepted or de-churched.

  11. Mar 30, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    I think that this is also an interesting insight into the historical relationship between church and state as well. In England, if you were a citizen you were an Anglican. But here in the US religion,not always but for the most part, has been a choice. I know that there were colonies that were just as rigid as the Church of England when it came to inclusion and practice. As a by product it probably means alot more in a society where those things are regulated much more as opposed to a society where there is much more personal preference.

  12. Mar 30, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    Oh, I LOVE this conversation. Check out my book “Finding Home: A Parable of Kingdom Life” for a fresh look at “the new and living way” in Christ. On that note, Craig, I sent you a copy a couple of months back. Did you get a chance to read it yet?

    I got baptized in grade 11, before I was a Christ follower. When I confessed that and wanted to make it real, my pastor didn’t feel comfortable with that and I had to follow that step of obedience on a mission trip in Eastern Canada. So I like to say my “old man” is at the bottom of the Atlantic!

  13. 14Akhil
    Mar 31, 2009 at 5:00 am

    I don’t understand one thing, that is why is that all these renouncing of faith and such other practices only takes place among the christians, why is it that only our faith that is vulnerable to such movements.

    I don’t see these things taking place with other religion, like Islam, Hinduism, Judism, etc. WHY SO? Why only us..??

  14. 15Larry
    Mar 31, 2009 at 8:01 am


    No, Catholics don’t believe that baptism guarantees heaven, although there is the belief that it brings remission of sins committed *up to that point*.


  15. 16Matt
    Mar 31, 2009 at 9:31 am

    I am aware that there is an atheist whom is attempting in the UK courts to remove himself from Church of England membership by having his baptism legally rescinded. This could potentially result in the C of E losing 95% of its members. Despite being a paedobaptist Anglican and a hater of atheism, I see this as actually being a good thing. The C of E should not be artificially inflating its members by 25,000,000 due to a large number of Brits wanting to nominally baptise their children. Hopefully some of them will think more deeply as to whether they can really describe themselves as ‘Christian’, which is the normal response when an English atheist or agnostic is asked their religion.

  16. Mar 31, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Just because something doesn’t make the headlines doesn’t mean it’s not happening. And just because something does make the headlines doesn’t mean it’s wide spread. I suspect something similar is happening in other religions. Otherwise there would be no Christian converts in countries where these religions predominate.

  17. 18Randy Allsbury
    Mar 31, 2009 at 10:42 am

    My comment is more about the power of Baptism in our walk. The fact that people want to be de-baptized, says it’s an important part of our faith-walk. Baptism is a very powerful statement of our public profession of our choice to follow Christ.

    I do feel for these people who have been so deceived by the enemy that they curse God in such act.

    My favorite thing at is Baptism Bash (Edmond). Tears of joy fill my eyes every time I witness one or dozens of people go into the watery grave and rise anew, as we sing praises to our Father!

  18. Apr 1, 2009 at 12:08 pm


    Oh, this does happen with all other faiths too. Where do you think all the new Christian converts come from? There are mass exoduses happening from all religions, and more often than not, if we preach faithfully, to Christianity!

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