Baptism Conversation?

I want to raise a controversial subject because I don’t understand why we aren’t talking about this subject more. There is obviously something going on here. Just yesterday five people were baptized. Four people we baptized last July, and two last August. Last April I was present at the baptism of two fellow-believers, and six other converts to the true understanding of the Kingdom and Jesus. Nearly three years ago now I was baptized. And at least two years before myself perhaps the first of our fellow-believers were ever baptized. This is a new development, we’ve never done as a community of faith. Now, some of us are changing in light of the scriptures. And there seems to be a refusal to talk about this issue openly and publicly. And I don’t understand that. Why aren’t we talking about this?

We shouldn’t be scared to talk about it. We shouldn’t be scared to change our beliefs. We shouldn’t be scared that we disagree. We should find our disagreement to be most interesting and dive into it to figure out the truth on the subject. We’ve had plenty of time to consider this idea of water baptism to warrant a discussion, haven’t we?

I earnestly pray that we can be Bereans in regards to this subject. And that we can seek unity on this issue. But we’ve first got to talk about it, don’t we?

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8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by iRiley on December 31, 2006 at 8:53 pm

    Personally, I’ve been wondering the same thing. From my understanding, as far down the line as the message may have come, this issue has really split our group. There are those who are all for baptism, those that believe it is a critical, and truly life-changing step in the advance of our faith and then, there are others who seem to think that it shouldn’t be a main point of focus in the church, and who seem to either not understand it’s purpose, or think that’s it irrelevent to the end of conversion. And, while both sides of the argument seem to stand out, there are those of ‘us’, myself included that, like John said, want to get this out in the open before making up our minds.

    I see beptism as a great way to either reinforce out faith, or take that final step to giving it all up for God, to finally ‘give up our dreams’, as we sang these past three days and ‘lay down our pride’, turning our focus towards the spiritual community and also outward to those who we can evangelize.

    And, while I personally don’t see water baptism as a crucial endeavor, but I do believe that baptism as a whole is a wonderful act of faith and commitment. It’s not like everyone who is water baptized(sp?) is not going to go right back to their sinful way of thinking, but I think we also need to understand that not everyone needs that physical insurrection with water to turn their lives over to God. There are those of ‘us’, and I use this term very loosely, that are all-in for God and don’t feel a need for a water baptism as a final affirmation of our faith and then also, there are those that, like John Smajda shared at the Winter Advance just this last Thursday, that felt an extreme sense of relief, and cleansing after their baptisms in water.

    I guess, really, the point I’m trying to get across is that we don’t need to set this in stone, but we do need to talk about it. Like John O said, we shoulnd’t be afraid to change our doctrine; we should constantly be seeking new wisdom in the scriptures, but at the same time, we shouldn’t hide behind closed lips because we think that people will disagree with us. Now, forgive me if I’m totally out of line with my understanding of the topic but, from my observations, and discussions, albeit brief, with a few of my fellow believers, this seems to be the standard of understanding among the community of faith, especially myself.

    Feel free to respond to this in any way that you like.

    Bless God.

    Reply

  2. Posted by sean on January 1, 2007 at 6:07 am

    excellent points Mr. Riley. I think the questions that need to be answered are:

    (1) what does the NT tell us about water baptism?

    (2) what did the NT Christians do with converts?

    (3) should we do this today?

    Reply

  3. Posted by JohnO on January 1, 2007 at 11:11 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to write such a long comment. We do have to see what the scriptures says explicitly about this subject. If we find this is a commandment of our lord – we must followthrough irregardless of our felt “need”.

    I think that if we look at the importance of baptism in the NT record we will truly see what it is for, and what it accomplishes. Like you stated, you see it as a physical action that a person might need. I have a strong feeling that the Bible communicates much much more than that.

    Reply

  4. Posted by sean on January 2, 2007 at 12:31 am

    I for one did not get baptized because I felt I needed a boost or some sort of supernatural empowerment or because it was trendy.

    Reply

  5. Posted by John Paul on January 2, 2007 at 5:33 am

    Just one late night point that I would like to make.
    I like sean, did not feel it was trendy or was looking for that relief or cleansing or holy spirit increase in my life when I was going to get baptized. I was doing in for no other reason than our Lord had commanded it. Im not going to do some sort of religious ritual unless it is a direct command of the Lord. Why would I fast? It doesnt make sence and yet in Matthew 6:17 Jesus does not say If you fast but when you fast. Impling Fasting is something you shoud be doing. The same is true for baptisim… For me anyway. The other stuff (not to simplify it or nullify it) was just and extra Goft that the great and Mighty G-d gave me as a result of his obedience and as a tolken of the promise of things to come.

    Reply

  6. Posted by JohnO on January 2, 2007 at 5:57 am

    And JP is really really tired 🙂

    Reply

  7. Posted by John Paul on January 2, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    yeah I was pretty tired. I ment to saymy obediene not His. oops.

    Reply

  8. Posted by sean on January 2, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    JP, what command of Christ are you referring to?

    Reply

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