One of my first posts was to describe what I learned about baptism after beginning my Journey to Eastern Orthodoxy. I am now undergoing a study of Baptismal Theology as it relates to the non-Orthodox. The main points to examine will be as follows:
Grace-is there grace outside of the Orthodox Church
Sacraments–is there validity to non-Orthodox sacraments
Baptism–should converts from other Christian backgrounds be ‘re’baptized when being received into the Orthodox Church? If no, then what is the criterion for accepting another baptism? Is it belief in the Holy Trinity? Full immersion? The baptizing Church’s belief in the full humanity and divinity of Christ? What if those were in place, but the baptizing agent was a practicing homosexual, a woman, or a mason?
These are questions that have been oft debated for centuries, but with more commonality with the inclusion of the Orthodox in the World Council of Churches, and especially with the Orthodox being the minority in the United States. The Orthodox Churches here have been mostly ethnic Churches. But that is changing now.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback. I’ll be posting information and theological perspectives on the subject over the next few weeks.