A Case of Immersion – Cled E. Wallace

Cled E. Wallace

I recently preached a plain gospel sermon and got a rise out of a Methodist preacher who was in the audience. He was agitated over my insistence that to be baptized a man must be immersed in water. There is nothing more clearly taught than this in the New Testament. This teacher of religion demanded that I point out just one clear case of immersion in the New Testament.

I patiently read to him in Acts 8th chapter about the man who came to a certain water, went down into the water, was baptized and came up out of the water. That was not sufficient to satisfy the demands of the critic. He readily admitted, that the man went down into the water before he was baptized, and came up out of the water after he was baptized, but “it does not say that he was immersed.” Who ever heard of a man going down into the water, and coming up out of it, just to have a little water applied to his head?!! Even a Presiding Elder is not capable of such absurdity!

I patiently explained that Paul called baptism a burial in Romans 6, and that the word for “baptize” employed by New Testament writers, primarily meant to dip or immerse, according to all Greek-English dictionaries. No reason has ever been adduced why the primary meaning of the word should not be employed here, as it fits in perfectly. They came to a certain water, went down into the water, and he immersed him, and they came up out of the water. There is no reason, outside of prejudice, why it should not be this way. Did this satisfy the critic? It did not. He insisted that the eunuch was sprinkled and that he would not under any circumstances immerse a man.

This was a partial repudiation of his creed, and I asked him for a case of sprinkling for baptism in the New Testament, as clear as the case of immersion he insisted that I give. He quickly forsook Christ and the apostles and ran to Moses for some help. The sun is an immeasurable blessing, but if a man insists on walking clown the middle of the road with his eyes tightly closed, the sun cannot do him much good. If he gets run over it is his fault!

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