Friday, August 17, 2012

Get Wet

Baptism is an important event to many people. Even those that don't go to church on a regular basis will take their newborns to be baptized. Though, as simple as the procedure is, there are many ways and beliefs about it in the Christian community. I will give you some background on my feelings about it as well.

I was raised a baptist/Catholic. You were dunk once you were a baby anymore. I have never seen anyone be dropped but it's always a thought of mine. I was scared when I was in grammar school because I was afraid the priest would drop me so I never went up there.

When we returned to the states when I was in Junior High here. I asked daddy if minded if I went to church elsewhere. I think he understood because he resigned as a preacher not long after that. Now while he still loves being a Baptist. I personally would love a nondenominational church. Baptist can get hung up on being baptists and not Christian. Some even turn their nose up at people that do not get baptized they way they did. That process is being submerged in water completely.

Spiritual Birth is a long committed process.
I was young when I said the Sinners' Prayer and accepted God as my Savior. I was about 9 years old. At 15 I was baptized in front of hundreds at a Presbyterian convention. I was nervous to begin with but the moment I stood up it was like God took off everything the devil was weighing me down with. I stood before hundreds and dropped to my knees. I knew there were hundreds of eyes on me. I did not care this was between God and me. However, that's not entirely true but it's how I felt. Water Baptism is a public testimony - the outward confession of an inward experience. In baptism, we stand before witnesses confessing our identification with the Lord. What I did is I had the water poured over my head and I felt cleansed of my past sins. My daddy has a picture of me being getting baptized that night, however this is the one picture I have:

After getting baptized I completely threw myself into the church. Which is where Summer '09 comes into play. I had been out of school for two summers by then since I graduated in '07. I was over come that night evening on the beach. My favorite youth minister's words spoke high volumes to me. If people want a high let the Lord lift them up because it feels like your feet aren't walking and something behind you is pulling you upwards. I shook, cried, and praised outwardly as I was baptized in the natural water of the Lord. Why did I get baptized a second time. That is hard to explain I felt that I need another cleansing. The Bible doesn't say we can't be baptized more than once.

I think why that speaks higher volumes to me was because 1) It was natural water. 2) I wasn't wearing fancy clothes, we were on the beach. 3) My youth minister asked me questions that I still think about today.
"Do you love Jesus with all your heart? What is Jesus to you? And what change specifically did I want from being baptized?"
Do I love Jesus? Yes, I do. A person that died on the cross to save me from my sins when I nonexistent. What is Jesus to me? Many said everything. I remember crying and holding onto my youth minister's hand and saying that everything wasn't even enough for me. I remember he had tears in his eyes when I said that. What changes did I want? Cleansing, freedom of sin, and a blessed life. 

Why should someone be baptized?

The Bible gives a number of reasons to be baptized:

Peter said to them, "Change your hearts and lives and be baptized, each one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. - Acts 2:38
"You were all baptized into Christ, and so you were all clothed with Christ. This means that you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus." - Galatians 3:27 
"And that water is like baptism that now saves you—not the washing of dirt from the body, but the promise made to God from a good conscience. And this is because Jesus Christ was raised from the dead." - 1 Peter 3:21

 I have a good friend, Bre, that had twins last December. I was privilege to see those babies be both on December 18th. Bre had their first gift from her as a mother. Each one received a snow globe with a small praying girl (the twins are both girls) and it reads at the bottom "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep." The music is sweet and perfect for those babies. She had both snowglobes (which can be found here) personalized and had the date that they were Christened/Baptized at the bottom. That was a special Christmas Day. Yes those little babies had the privilege of being Christened on Christmas Day. It was beautiful.

Its saddens me more parents don't start birthing their children right. I talked to Bre when writing this because she was up for starters and asked me what I was doing, but also because I wanted to ask her about that. She was silent for a little bit then said, "Trent and I prayed together several times through my pregnancy and labor. I think that's why I was able to have them without any painkillers or help." I am now sitting her stunned. Bre is not one to talk about God, not saying she isn't a Christian, she just doesn't talk about the Lord. So I am really stunned, but I have a huge grin on my face. She even got them little cakes to help everyone celebrate that day with them.

There are fights all over the Internet, churches and homes about how baptism should be done. Sprinkling, in the church, in nature, etc. I believe that God doesn't mind whichever one you do. Some people get all up in arms and have their views on when you should be baptized. I'm sorry, but with my personal belief I do not feel as though baptism is a requirement to get into Heaven. If that was the case then why was the thief that was beside Jesus able to join him in Heaven?
But the other criminal stopped him and said, "You should fear God! You are getting the same punishment he is. We are punished justly, getting what we deserve for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus said to him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." -Luke 23: 40-43
I'm not saying you shouldn't be baptized. I am a strong believer in getting baptized. I'll admit the rush of excitement on Chris's face when he was baptized a month ago made me want to run up there with him. I think that God will lead a person, if that person listens carefully to what God tells them.

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