THERE CAN BE NO BAPTISM OUTSIDE THE CHURCH
WE SHOULD NOT ACCEPT ANY OTHER BAPTISM
In the Holy Bible it is clearly shown that St. Paul would not accept St. John’s non-triune immersion, single immersion baptism, for when he asked John’s disciples if they were baptized, they answered into John’s baptism. Then St. Paul rebaptized them by triune immersion baptism. There is no other baptism than that performed by the Orthodox Church. Hence all those outside the Church are unbaptized and have not put away their sins. Triune immersion was established by the Lord.
This is the text. Finding certain disciples Paul said to them: “Have you received the Holy Spirit? And they said unto him: We have not so much as heard whether there be a Holy Spirit. And he said unto them, Unto what then were you baptized? And they said unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him who would come after him, that is, Christ Jesus. When they heard this they were baptized by three immersion in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came upon them and they spoke in languages” Acts 18:2-8).
After His Resurrection the Lord gave this firm command to the Apostles: “Go forth into all the world, and preach this Gospel to every creature. He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that does not believe shall be condemned” 16:15).
Also, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore, and teach all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things which I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you to the close of the age” (Matthew 28: 19-20).
Christ makes baptism as important as faith, saying: “He who believes and is baptized.”
Christ commands the form: three total immersions in the name of each of the Trinity.
Who would disagree that the Holy Apostles were the best interpreters of Christ’s words and commandments? Here is what they passed down to us through their Holy Apostolic Canons.
FROM THE SACRED APOSTOLIC CANONS
“If any Bishop or Priest baptize anyone not into the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit in accordance with the Lord’s ordinance, but into three beginning-less beings or into three sons or into three comforters, let him be deposed.”
CANON L 50
"If any Bishop or Priest does not perform three immersions (baptisms) in making one baptism, but only a single immersion (baptism) that given into the death of the Lord, let him be deposed. For the Lord did not say, Baptize into my death, but,“ Go you and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).
Interpretation St. Nicodemos the Hagiorite
“There are three things quite necessary and in any case altogether indispensable in the mystery of Holy Baptism: sanctified water; triune immersion in the water; and an invocation of each of the most divine Hypostases (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). In the previous 49th Canon the divine Apostles ordered and taught concerning the three invocations, what names we are to be said and in what order. In the present 50th Canon they proceed to ordain concerning the three immersions and emersions. This means, as we have said, that these are necessary as regards what is simply called necessary, and are constituents of true and orthodox baptism.”
No one can nullify these Orthodox truths and to avoid any contrary opinions, for the practice of three immersions in the Church by Orthodox clergy is passed on by the Fathers in the Church. Confirming this is St. Firmilian, Archbishop of Caesarea, consecrated in 230 and who was a staunch defender of Orthodoxy. At the Synod of Antioch in 252, he participated and condemned the heretic Novation. He also opposed Paul of Samasota and was supported by St. Cyprian of Carthage.
The great St. Firmillian clarifies the truth of baptism being totally non-existent outside the Church with these words:
“Very many of us, coming together in Iconium, have diligently investigated and confirmed that every baptism which is administered outside the Church must be completely repudiated. It has been written: “Abstain from strange water, and do not drink of a strange fountain ” (Prov. 9:18). For when you are in communion with the baptism of the heretics, what else do you do but drink from their whirlpool and filth, so that you yourself, having been purged by the sanctification of the Church, become tainted with the contacts of the sins of others?”
ACCEPTING MYSTERIES OF HERETICS
WORSE THAN ALL HERETICS -- A TERRIBLE SIN
Then in his letter, Bishop Firmillian speaks to those who accept the so-called mysteries outside of the Church: “A false witness shall not be unpunished (Prov 19:51).
“Do you not fear the judgment of God ? Indeed you are worse than all the heretics. For even after they have recognized their error and have come to see the true light of the Church, you, rather, help to maintain the errors of those who obscure the light of ecclesiastical truth, by piling up the darkness of heretical night. Indeed, although they confess that they are in sins and have no grace and are therefore coming to the Church, yet you take away from them the remission of sins, which is given in Baptism, as long as you say that they are already baptized and have gained the grace of the Church outside the Church. You who do this have denied to the thirsting the drink of the Church, and have been the cause of death to those desiring to live. Do you not perceive that their souls will be required at your hands when the day of judgment comes; and, in addition, your are angry.
“See with what ignorance you dare to reprehend those who are struggling for the truth against falsehood. Do not be deceived, since, indeed, he who has made himself an apostate from the communion of ecclesiastical unity is truly a schismatic; For while you think that all may be excommunicated by you, you have excommunicated yourself alone from all.”
The present practice of many contemporary bishops, according to these facts, ranks worse than the heretics. It is imperative that accepting heretics baptism must be discontinued and every soul that seeks to enter holy Orthodoxy must be taken in by Orthodox Baptism so that they can rid themselves of all sins. Every Church ought to p[rep[are by having an adult font for this purpose/ Ridding of sins is only available in the triune immersion of the Church Christ founded, by the grace of Holy Spirit. This will give a genuine meaning to these words: “You are justified; you are illumined. You are baptized, you are illuminated, you are anointed with myrrh, you are sanctified, you are washed clean, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.