Baptism is a strange idea
Running Rapids on The Mighty Colorado of the Grand Canyon, you encounter 20 foot waves, and they use the term baptized quite literally.
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.
Who gets baptized?
Are you baptized?
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.
Let us wrap this article up.
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.