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Baptism is a strange idea

Updated on April 27, 2014

Running Rapids on The Mighty Colorado of the Grand Canyon, you encounter 20 foot waves, and they use the term baptized quite literally.

I have heard surfer dudes use the word technically correctly when a dude eats it big time.
I have heard surfer dudes use the word technically correctly when a dude eats it big time. | Source

Baptized in a fox hole?

Baptism is religious in general but we use the term in other ways also that are totally secular. What is up with this whole Baptism thing? Read on.

Baptism is a rebirth. Baptism is a ritual. Baptism basically means an immersion (not necessarily water) Baptism of Faith is an ordinary term. But so is Baptism of fire. Churches have different ideas of Baptism. Some think you cannot have a Baptism except by a minister and others think you have to go swimming to get baptized. Baptism is most associated with John the Baptist. But to be sure the words meaning Baptism were in heavy use in Babylon and pre-John Greece.

John the Baptist was one strange dude. He lived down by the Jordan River wore totally uncomfortable clothing made from Camels and a great big girdle type belt. He ate grasshoppers and wild honey mostly for his diet. He was a fire and brimstone preacher man who demanded repentance from everyone. He would dunk people in the River Jordan and call it “Baptizing”. He was a cousin and about the same age as Jesus Christ. He in fact Baptized Jesus of Nazereth.

The king type guy took his brothers’ wife as his own and John went nuts over it with all the condemnation he could muster. The kings step daughter demanded his head on a platter and she got it. So that was the end of John, and pretty simultaneous with the beginning of the public preaching/teaching of Jesus.

This little guy is baptized but not yet confirmed.

About two seconds later I got a baptism.
About two seconds later I got a baptism.

Who gets baptized?

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What is normal really?

So any normal religious interpretation of the Bible requires those who have heard about Jesus and God to be baptized in order to get into heaven. Perhaps we will look at the apologetics of such a notion. I believe the last mentioned actual baptism by water was a Eunuch baptized by Phillip. Although this researcher finds no mention specifically of Phillip being baptized. Jesus is the last “person” to be baptized with a name attached to it. In fact it appears He is the only one actually named being baptized. Ananias and “baptized” Saul/Paul with the Holy Spirit but that is different as it takes no other human to do that act. The disciples were filled by the Holy Spirit and so baptized in that way but there is no mention of a baptism for them like John the Baptist performed on Jesus.

We come to a notion of Baptism of the Holy Spirit unique to Christianity. It is a Trinitarian notion. The Holy Spirit enters you and you are thereby baptized by the Holy Spirit. However it is pretty well accepted that this only requires full faith and a serious prayerful request. One could stretch traditional baptism to be simply that. The idea would be immersion in the Holy Spirit just as in water. Here is what the Catholic Bishops say on the matter: VI. THE NECESSITY OF BAPTISM 1129 161 846 (all) 1257

The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation.60 He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them.61 Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament.62 The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are "reborn of water and the Spirit." God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments. What that translates into is that you need to be water baptized and Spirit baptized but that that rule does not restrict God but man. It is the out to allow for Universalism without saying so.

This is a great baptism scene our character is just as baptized as the rest --- the preacher man said so,

However I am more akin to these folks.

Do not put form over substance. So few baptized Christians are filled with the Holy Spirit, baptism may not be so important or all powerful for man.

Here is the real scripture that boils it all down: Matthew 28:19, 20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Read more: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/15-bible-verses-about-baptism/#ixzz308G3hPYq

It actually seems a little weak to say that that says we all must be baptized as John did to Jesus. But churches rock that way so who are we to say right or wrong. Notice that is not how John baptized, his was strict repentance and certainly not in the name of the Son. So that is iffy scripture to hang a hat on to say how we must be baptized.

Here is scripture that should be noted: "When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too." (Luke 3:7, 21). Because that is really cool. That is what we should think of as baptism.

Rules and religion and liturgies and sacraments are great and a fine community tool to raise our awareness and get us all right in order to accept the spiritual. And we should treasure them and keep them. But we have got to be careful these notions are for man. God is not bound by them. Really seriously that is really important to notice. By any reckoning of God, God can do what God wants and rituals do not bind God. So a Christian must keep in mind that anyone at any time can find favor with their God. God is in control of that and not man. So we should not say “you must do this or you must do it this way or because you did not then that will happen.” We must say, “this is what I believe you must do”. Or better yet say “this makes me feel closer to God” or “I really love to…..”

Baptism is one of those great things. But like the Sabbath it is made for man. God could immerse us anytime God wanted to by sending rain.

Here is what seems like a fun one. Baptism by fire. There were these slaves. Shadrach and two others. They believed in their Hebrew God. The king was getting pissed off and decided all slaves would worship his god. Well it came down to either believe and renounce your God or get burned to death. (by any account a waste of slaves) Shadrach and his partners said “no way” and openly praised God. Well the king bound them and through them into the huge fire for such purpose. A few minutes later there was Shad and the posse walking around in the flames, the only thing burned were the binds they had on them. Then they cruised out of the fire. And the king changed everything including which God everyone should worship to Shad’s God. Now that would be baptism by fire.

Boy is being baptized in a family stream by his big sister who loves him.

Life is good and baptism is good if we choose so to make it.
Life is good and baptism is good if we choose so to make it. | Source

Let us wrap this article up.

Conclusion.

Be careful going around and judging other’s traditions and methods. Yours may be the best and it may work really well for you. But a Christian Southern Evangelical is just as valid as a Christian Roman Catholic.

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    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon 3 years ago from Texas

      Interesting concepts to think about and ponder. Me - I was not baptized until I was an adult. I wanted to be baptized at a young age, maybe 12 or so. I understood what it meant and wanted it desperately, but my mother said no. My dad was going to let me get baptized anyway, but I was torn between being taught to obey and honor our parents, which going behind her back was not doing. So. . . I ended up waiting.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Eric, true it is wise to respect all people and their religions. It is also wise to be firm about personal convictions. Baptism by immersion has real spiritual significance for those who do it. Usually, they are Christians whose intent is to do what Christ did the way He did it. It shouldn't be thought of as fun thing. Also true, we understand God differently.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      I had a Catholic baptism and became evangelical when I was in College. Now I don't go to any church but have a personal relationship with Jesus which is absolutely perfect. I had no water baptism and feel no need. Whether the baptism is by water as an infant or as an adult with understanding, for me it doesn't matter. God knew what he was doing when I had my Catholic baptism, and also when I received jesus in my life in college. It's all good.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Shanmarie, that is a great story. It touches me and gets to the heart of what is important. Especially your dad and you. But I bet you mom had good intentions also. Thank you much for adding so much.

      (sorry for delay but HP seems a little slow in getting these up ;-)

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Wow Dora, I have never thought of the liturgies and sacraments without thinking they were fun. I will have to toss that around in my mind. Thank you for that.

      WWJD? I think this is a very valid point and one we should all discern soberly.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Lady, I think you are the norm these days. And clearly by your writing and actions Jesus works through you and likes your relationship. Thank you much.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Every individual has their own beliefs I do respect that I don't enjoy it when other religious people try to force people into their religion it is up to the person to get involved in which ever way they want to. Interesting hub.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I have heard of it but in all my years never seen someone forced into a faith. Although I hear you I have seen them seem to try. Seems strange indeed.

    • Foodeee profile image

      Foodeee 3 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I was baptized in the Catholic church as an infant. I was also baptized as adult when I was involved with a full gospel church. I see baptism as a step of obedience to God. Maybe it should not be as pronounced as it is most churches. There are other things we do in obedience to God that are more or less overlooked. Your hubs always make me think Eric, please stop that. My brain has enough on its plate. LOL

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I give myself headaches ;-) Foodee I think your experience is just right on the money. I know a lot of people relate much the same story, and most come out with your very healthy attitude -- thank you. e

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon 3 years ago from Texas

      I guess I didn't say that her intentions were just that she said I was baptized as a baby and didn't need to be again.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I should have picked up on that Millions of Roman Catholics hold that belief. Not just don't need it but that it is wrong. Thanks for bringing up that point. I could feel the love there.

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