The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Garden hose baptism?

The sacrament demands faith, not glibness

A pastor told me that one could take a garden hose, spray a crowd of people and say, "I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit," and everyone touched by the water would go to heaven. Is this correct?

No. In the Large Catechism Martin Luther writes:

"God's works ... are salutary and necessary for salvation, and they do not exclude but rather demand faith, for without faith they could not be grasped. Just by allowing the water to be poured over you, you do not receive Baptism in such a manner that it does you any good.

Dangerous quilts?

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