The pointless nature of de-baptising

Apparently, a few hundred people in Belgium have de-baptised themselves, following the abuse crisis. I would not be surprised if the same happened in other European countries as well. As far as I understand it is a gesture that severs the ties between these people and the Church, or so they think. Of course, being a sacrament, baptism can’t be cancelled or removed. Once baptised, you’re baptised for life, regardless of the development of your faith life.

People promoting de-baptism are therefore liars, pure and simple, although they could be lying out of ignorance. When you honestly think that baptism is like a signature under a contract, that signifies your membership of a club, it is logical that you also think it is possible to stop being baptised.

But baptism isn’t a signature. Through baptism, our sins are forgiven and we are accepted into the community of God’s people. It is an outward sign of an inward reality that is independent of our actions. No mater how grave the sins we may commit, our baptism remains always. It is a gift that God never asks back, and we are incapable of returning it.

People who ‘de-baptise’ themselves, are fooling themselves and others. They do so out of a misplaced (but understandable) desire to no longer be associated with the crimes of a few, but is a pointless gesture since it achieves nothing but ignorance and the misplaced idea that somehow, sacraments are returnable.