Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Baptism in modern thought

This is not a theological post. I asked the question: “Have you ever been baptized?” on a message board that I frequent. Here are some of the responses:

   Yes, in the time I thought it was an important step for me, identifying myself first and foremost as a Christian and taking a step in faith...unfortunately within 10 years I had lost my faith and am no longer a believer. I still respect those who are - at least the ones who live a life of love rather than judge others - but Christianity is no longer my bag baby....sorry, I guess that's not what you wanted to hear...
   I was baptized in 2003. The baptism itself didn't change my life, but giving my life over to my Lord and savior Jesus Christ in 2002 did. I'm a VERY different person now. Not perfect, but different. What man cannot do, God can do.
   I was baptized when I was 15, but stopped being a believer about a year later
   I got baptized as an infant. You know, every year in church those vows are renewed. It's either Holy Saturday or Pentecost, I can't remember which.
I got baptized "in the Spirit" one time when I was about ten years old, but it didn't take. I never spoke in tongues until much later. The only "baptism" that "took" was the one that I experienced in mid-life (about five years ago) when I was bathed in my own sweat and tears. Very real, and much better than holy water.
   I was baptized when I was 12 years old, the Preacher from our church came to visit our house one day and sat down and talked to me and my brother. He asked us if we believed that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and if we felt He was our personal Savior, we both answered yes. We were both baptized at church the following sunday. I can't say that there was a major change in my life and I have not led a perfect life, but I have tried to keep His teachings in my heart.
   In my experiences the majority of those who become baptized and accept Christ into their lives have really had some screwed up pasts. Drugs addicts, alcoholics, and criminals more specifically. It seems it takes near death experiences to learn to follow the good path. Then again, maybe they were the only ones who stood out?Don't get me wrong, I do drink every now and again, but I don't do drugs, nor do I steal, cheat, etc. Why should I get baptized again? I am faithful to my wife, I help my fellow man, and accept Christ as my savior. I guess I don't truly understand some things the church's do.
   I was baptized in Jesus name about 8 months ago and my life has changed for the better.
   I was baptized in a Baptist church as a kid, 9 YO or so. I think my Sunday school teacher felt it was her duty to get all the kids in her charge baptized before sending them on to the next age/grade level. What I remember the most is the interview with some assistant minister and the color wheel test to see if I was really "ready to accept Jesus Christ as blah, blah, blah ..." The conversation went something like this:

Minister: Tell me, what does the color red mean to you?
me: it means ‘Stop.’

Minister: Yes, it can mean to stop, but when I look at red I think of the blood of Jesus and how his blood washed our sins away.
me: Gross!

Minister: How about white? What does white make you think of?
me: Knee socks. We have to wear white knee socks for gym and they won't stay up, but the boys get to wear the short ones with stripes. That's not fair, is it?

Minister: Doesn't white also remind you of The Light? Jesus is the light, and has shown us the way to salvation.
me: Okay.

Minister: How about black. What does black ...
me: Batman!

Minister: To me, black represents darkness, evil. When I see black, I think of those poor souls lost to the devil.
me: Oh. Do you ever watch Batman?

Minister: What about green?. What is green to you.
me: Money.

We went through the entire color wheel, and none of my answers matched his. Despite my responses, I was deemed ready to baptize.
   I was saved around the age of 10 and then baptized. Today, I am a deacon in a Baptist church on the Northshore. Am I perfect? No, far from it. But no one is. I suggest you seek out a bible-believing church and become active.
   I was baptized when I was really young. I guess I was 7 or so. I don't really remember much about it. My father is a baptist preacher, so it was part of the drill I guess. I go to church about once every five years or so, I should go more for my dad, but I just really hate it. I think baptism is just like a lot of religious experiences, its simple emotion being called spiritual enlightenment. I started realizing that it was all a big con when I was in high school. People would be crying and feeling all spiritual and recommitting themselves to Jesus and I was wondering what was wrong with these people. I often wondered what it would be like if they put just a tiny bit of LSD in the grape juice for the Lord's Supper, and then started with all the call of the holy spirit con. Everyone would find Jesus that day.
   I was Baptized when I was in my 40's at the same time as my three children (non-infant). It was one of the most memorable days of my life.

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