Since baptism is a sign of union with Christ and a welcome into his covenant family, the RCA recognizes baptism from other churches. The focus, then, is on the covenant of God’s faithfulness rather than on the act itself of baptism.
As the Rev. James Brownson, a General Synod professor, writes in The Promise of Baptism:
“This is [a] vital thing to remember in our practice of baptism: Baptism is not a private event; baptism unites us to the one body of Christ, the church. There is only ‘one Lord, one faith, one baptism’ (Eph. 4:5). … The power and efficacy of baptism does not finally depend on the person or community doing the baptism, but only on God’s faithfulness. … The church should recognize any sincere Christian baptism done in faith, and in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Baptism does not belong to us; it belongs to God, and Scripture is full of the mysterious ways in which God sometimes works outside of normal systems and structures to accomplish the divine purposes.”
The World Council of Churches, an inter-church body of which the RCA is a member, considers the mutual recognition of baptism to be an expression and sign of the baptismal unity we receive from Christ.