Can Women Perform Baptism? - 04/02/2003

Hello there I went to my brothers church "first Baptist" he was getting baptized. In the group that was ahead of him the lady that does the JR high and high school ministries was baptizing her students that take her class. I found that to be odd. (1 Tim 2:9-15). Anyhow they went along to call her pastor also. It was just really weird. My brother got baptized by the head pastor which is a male. No problem for me there . Am I out of bounds on my thinking . Can you help me to see what God says. Thanks again for your time. In Christ.... Jon




CONTENDER MINISTRIES RESPONSE:


Hi Jon, thanks for contacting us at Contender Ministries. I don't think the experience of the lady in charge of youth ministries performing baptism is odd at all. The scripture you cite (1 Timothy 2:9-15) is usually taken to mean that church pastors are intended to be male. There is nothing I'm aware of in scripture that addresses a gender requirement for those who administer baptism. While it is true that all baptisms recorded in the New Testament were performed by men, it is not good scholarship to automatically infer that only men may administer baptism. The baptisms recorded in the New Testament were all performed in natural bodies of water (lakes, rivers, etc.), but we do not assume that baptisms performed in a pool or church baptistery are invalid. In baptism, there are two primary parties - the person being baptized, and the Holy Spirit. The person being baptized honors God through an act of dedication and submission to Him, and is then blessed/annointed/baptized by the Holy Spirit. The person administering the baptism plays a minor role in the whole process. In his epistles, Paul submits a number of rules for orderly worship, but nowhere mentions a gender requirement for the person who administers baptism. Rather than be taken aback by the gender of the youth minister who was administering the baptisms, I believe the Lord would have us rejoice and celebrate in the decision of these young people to honor God with a display of obedience and submission to His will. I hope this has answered your question. May the Lord richly bless you.

In Christ,

Ben and Jennifer Rast
Contender Ministries