Is a hairdryer effectual in ‘de-baptism’?

Extracts follow from one of the sadder articles I have read in recent times – and that is saying something!

Try to overlook the utter triviality, unutterable sadness, unbending rebellion and unreasonable rationality; and take a look at the understanding(s) of baptism. Hence this article’s title – Is a hairdryer (read ‘anything’) effectual in ‘de-baptism’?

The article, US atheists choose ‘de-baptism’ to renounce childhood faith by G. Jeffrey MacDonald, 23 Jul 2009, includes,

Until last summer, Jennifer Gray of Columbus, Ohio, considered herself “a weak Christian” whose baptism at age 11 in a Kentucky church came to mean less and less to her as she gradually lost faith in God.

Then the 32-year-old medical transcriptionist took a decisive step, one that previously hadn’t been available. She got “de-baptised”.

In a type of mock ceremony that’s now been performed in at least four states, a robed “priest” used a hairdryer marked “reason” in an apparent bid to blow away the waters of baptism once and for all.’

Two church views, Southern Baptist and ‘Mainline’, are noted:

‘If a Southern Baptist renounces his or her baptism, then that person is usually presumed to have never received an authentic baptism in the first place, . .’


‘Baptism (in Mainline churches) “is a kind of adoption where you become a child of God, of the church and of the family, . . . You can renounce your physical parents, (the church and God), but they cannot renounce you because you are their child. Anybody who makes fun of baptism probably hasn’t gone into it in enough depth to know that.”’

Can a baptised person be de-baptised?

Would you allow a ‘de-baptised’ person’s name to be removed from the church’s baptismal records?


Is a hairdryer effectual in ‘de-baptism’? — 7 Comments

  1. It probably won’t surprise you to hear that my response isn’t purely hypothetical?

    I was recently asked to advise someone on their response to a letter from someone who had been baptized in their church decades ago, and has now discovered the ‘True.Church’. They wanted to be removed from the baptism register.

    I advised a letter assuring them of our ongoing prayer in their quest for a relationship with the true and living God, and explaining that their baptism was an historical reality, and a sacramental action in which we believed God had been present and active. Therefore we could not remove it from the record, any more than we could delete an entry from the Marriage register because someone subsequently divorced.

    As for the hairdryer palaver – it’ll work exactly as well as the backspace button I keep trying to apply to my mouth! 🙂

  2. I guess that depends on whether you believe in “Once Saved, Always Saved” (OSAS) or not. Personally, I started out firmly in the affirmative and a few years ago would have told you this person’s salvation could not be lost. However, after a number of years examining the subject, the sheer magnitude of verses that cannot be reconciled with this view has thoroughly convinced me that OSAS is NOT a sustainable argument.

    Now, with baptism’s symbolism regarding a person’s dying to self and becoming alive to Christ, the decision of a person to “de-baptize” is in re-igniting the old priority matrix of self as well as denying Christ – both as Lord and considering the context of the group offering this – denial even of His divinity.

    A close examination of Romans 8v35-39 (as mis-used so often in pro-OSAS arguments) will reveal that a person’s willing & total abandonment of Christ is NOT amongst the list of those things listed as being “not able to separate us from the love of God” and therefore remains as a valid method by which a person’s salvation may be lost.

    Now in regard to whether the person should be expunged from a church’s baptism records or not – Biblically I think it matters little. For where is baptism’s most important mark left – but on the heart where only God sees? But unfortunately, for many baptism has been perverted into a way to “brand” a person as being of a particular denomination in the vain hope of extracting some sort of loyalty in a competition between brands. God knows our heart – I don’t see it as mattering one little bit whether anybody on earth remembers or keeps record of our baptism!

  3. Not that anyone in the imaginary Diocese would want to, but you can actally buy a ‘debaptism certificate from:

    The certficate declares:
    I ________ having been subjected to the Rite of Christian Baptism in infancy (before reaching an age of consent), hereby publicly revoke any implications of that Rite and renounce the Church that carried it out. In the name of human reason, I reject all its Creeds and all other such superstition in particular, the perfidious belief that any baby needs to be cleansed by Baptism of alleged ORIGINAL SIN, and the evil power of supposed demons. I wish to be excluded henceforth from enhanced claims of church membership numbers based on past baptismal statistics used, for example, for the purpose of securing legislative privilege.”

    The fee is only 3 pounds (UK), with bulk rates for group debaptisms.

    Praise God for his grace freely given.

  4. That is rather strenuous resistance to something one claims not to believe in at all. Very sad. And who gets the 3 pounds UK fee?

    PS A very large hairdryer for group baptisms – cartoonist’s delight!

  5. The certificate ends with the word ‘privilege’.

    The pricing information came from the website cited in my original posting. It also indicates that it is a fund-raising exercise.

    The final comment was mine.

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