Love this meme. Laughing here, but When God wants you baptized, He’ll simply have you baptized. This is what happens when you delay. It’s way nicer to do it willingly and under controlled circumstances, with warm water, but wutever. Suit yourself. God is well acquainted with His stubborn kids.
Recently our pastor has been talking about baptism, encouraging people to get baptized. I second that, you should do it, it’s a good thing. I’m kind of a fan of baptism, and a bit like voting, we should probably do it early and often.
Back the Middle Ages people got baptized naked. Now that would be scary! Uncomfortable for us, but probably even scarier for the spectators. Good factoid to have in case you ever find yourself naked in front of a bunch of people. They are probably more scared than you are.
Also, that’s another good reason to be baptised today. We seldom do it naked anymore.
The trend of baptizing babies in beer and others in everything from soup stock to any handy liquid once got so prevalent, the church had to issue this edict declaring baptism didn’t count if you didn’t use water. We can laugh about such things today, but safe and purified water used to be a scarce resource. Nobody wanted to waste it by dumping it over someone’s head.
There are a lot of really good reasons to get baptized, but that’s another one. Because you are grateful for modern times, for abundant and plentiful safe water. That’s no joke, at one time in history our life expectancy was 40 and the leading cause of death was dysentery from drinking bad water. There are parts of the world that still suffer.
Water is a precious resource and literally “life.” Without water, there would be no life. Baptism is a bit like that too, a celebration of life, a celebration of living water that never ceases. “There’s something in the water” as the song goes. Follow that preacher man down to the river… You won’t be sorry.
So, I met the Lord when I was about 3, in the midst of atheism, total non believers, and it was just a baby faith, but even as a small kid, I felt this pressing need to be baptized, to be sealed, not for the Lord’s benefit but for mine. I think baptism is a gift He gives us, an outward expression of the desire to be adopted by Him, to become a part of His family, His body, His church. It’s like a birthday. When I was about 12, I felt like an orphan that had just been officially adopted, as if the Lord had just signed the Fed ex receipt for me. I believe He had me long before he signed the return receipt, but it really is a bit like a love letter simply being stamped, “received.”
Like an orphan you are not necessarily making a committment yourself, so much as simply receiving His commitment, His desire to adopt you, acknowledging His claim on you. Maybe, it’s a bit like offering yourself to Him for adoption. I mention that because a lot of people are scared, as if baptism were more like running off to Vegas and getting married to Someone you don’t even know….
It isn’t like that at all, it’s simply a symbolic and often public recognition of faith. Perhaps the start of a journey. A celebration of life and purification, of regeneration. One need not wait until you are “a perfect Christian,” or none of us would ever get baptized in the first place.
Come to think of it, it you actually believe you are a “perfect Christian,” you might want to go get baptized….again. I’d be a bit concerned that the first dip didn’t take. Just saying.
Myself, I tend to take communion very seriously, with all sober mindedness, but play somewhat fast and loose with baptism. I think we should be baptizing everyone, all the time. Hey, still not quite sure how you feel about the Lord? Let’s just baptize you and see what happens. It’s not a casual thing…….but it’s not something you can mess up or get wrong, either.
I also think in Jesus Christ, we’re all authorized, empowered to baptize people. I really like pastors to do it, but that’s a preference, an “ahhh perfect” moment. In a pinch however, anyone will do. I myself baptized all my kids when they were small, but it’s simply a sealing for the Lord, an acknowledgment that they belong to Him. They all have to step forward as grown ups and receive Him themselves, in order to actually be “baptised.”
I’ve baptised two friends, just one of those dire moments where, this just needs to happen right now. Ha! Also, they agreed to it, so that was nice. I’m so cheerful about baptism, I’m not even opposed to wrestling people into the water or just casually pushing them into the baptismal, although it’s probably more meaningful if you actually consent.
And that’s something else I tend to believe, if you were baptized by proxy, or too small to remember it, or have short term memory problems, just do it again. Be rebaptized. It’s kind of like celebrating a birthday or renewing your marriage. People renew their marriage vows all the time, same people, same dedication, one simply doesn’t cancel out their first wedding, by having an anniversary party.
Those are all my thoughts on baptism. There’s some really good theology around it, it matters, churches sometimes assign different meanings to it, but for me I’m kind of one of those people who just believes in the power of the Holy Spirit, so relax, close your eyes, feel the music no one else can hear, sink in and allow yourself to be washed in the water. He’ll do the rest.
So those are all my thoughts on baptism. Do it early and often because you can’t mess it up. Also, unlike our elections, there are never any shenangians around counting the votes. God is a bit like “Diebold delivers,” only far more powerful and far more accurate.