Yesterday, my youngest was baptized. At a Baptist church, where I attend, this is a huge deal. I grew up in a Lutheran church, so it took a bit for me to understand this when I first started attending the Baptist church. I’m going to attempt to explain.
In the Lutheran church, and if I understand Catholism (sp?) beliefs, babies are baptized as the belief is that you must be baptized to be saved and go to heaven. LDS believes this as well, from my experience, but they wait to the age of accountability to baptize. Anyway, in the Lutheran church, they ‘sprinkle’ the baby on the forehead with baptismal water. Then, when the child is about Jr. High age, they go through confirmation. For the Lutheran church, this is typically a 2 year process (it was for me) where you ‘re-confirm’ your life to Christ. From my experience, and this is not a stead-fast rule, most of the kids in these classes are only there because their parents are forcing them in some way. In my case, my mom promised me she wouldn’t force me to go to church every Sunday. A promise she broke immediately, thankfully. For others, they were taken to their favorite restaurant every time they went. Now, I know this is not the case for all kids. I happen to know a great kid right now, that is going through confirmation, and he is true. His heart is there and he wants to serve God.
Ok, so, going back to baptism. In the baptist church, it’s important to realize that the baptist church started out as Anabaptists. In other words, the opposite of baptism. However, the actual intent was against infant baptism, not baptism all together.
So, what’s the purpose of baptism? If you read Romans 6:3-4, it says:
3Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
So what does that mean? The best way I can describe it is symbolism. Immersion baptism uses symbolism from these verses to show that by going into the water, you are dead to your old life, and rising out of the water is rising again to a new life in Christ. It is a physical demonstration of your intent to live your life for Christ and God.
I’m not saying that the Lutherans and Catholics have baptism wrong. That’s not up to me. That is God’s decision. But what I am saying is that the intent of baptism in the bible needs to be reviewed. Let’s look at it in the Bible. According to about.com John the Baptist was commanded by God to go out and baptize believers. “John the Baptist was sent by God to spread the news of the coming Messiah—Jesus Christ. John was directed by God (John 1:33) to baptize those who accepted his message.” As well, Jesus himself was baptized by John the Baptist, with immersion baptism. To which when he was, God spoke stating to observe His son of whom he was well pleased.
Come to your own conclusion.
In the meantime, R and I are ultra excited that our youngest has made this statement of faith. We’ve been told by several that she really does have a heart for God and truly wants to follow Christ. She is His. I an only assist her on this path and encourage her. It’s all up to God and I trust that he will use her in wonderful ways to His glory.