Poo-Pooing Baptism

I read a short introduction on a church’s website this morning. The intro was trying to tug on a persons heartstrings and get them to doubt in what had been done for them in their baptism. Once you realized that your baptism doesn’t mean anything…then they can lead you in the proper direction and help you do what is really necessary and obtain the proper understanding of a real, living faith in Jesus.

I just googled baptism and up popped this anti- baptism, Christian (so-called) site. That seems to be the way it is in most churches these days. People wanting you to forget about your baptism and get with the program! Let’s get serious about this Christian faith thing! If you’re gonna do it…then do it right!

I believe it stems from a great misunderstanding of what exactly baptism is. Many of these folks believe that baptism is merely a rite, a tradition, a going-through-the-motion type of exercise that is strictly about what we do…and therefore they conclude and rightly so if you want to look at it from their perspective, that nothing happens in baptism. Absolutely nothing.

So they see a lot of people that go to church and don’t bring their bibles, and cuss amongst themselves afterward, and talk about baseball, gardening or the economy, and don’t go to the soup kitchens and don’t attend bible studies. So they assume that these people are not Christians…because they don’t look like what they believe a Christian ought to look like. There are the fruits of the spirit you know…and these folks just ain’t got any!

So what now? Well…it is obvious that baptism itself must be worthless since almost all of these folks have been baptised and nothing happened, or it didn’t stick. So something else besides baptism must kick in. A sincere desire, an emotional commitment, an observable filling of the Spirit. One must sincerely repent and accept Jesus. Right?

Wrong.

One must do nothing.

That’s right…nothing.

All of your sincere repentance, all of your sincere love and acceptance for Jesus, all of your emotions and fire for the Lord mean nothing. It is all filthy rags…that’s all, and the Lord will have none of it when it comes to your salvation and justification before Him, the Living God.

He calls you. He chooses you. He gathers you. He enlightenes you. He justifies you. He sanctifies you.

And to make sure that you get all these things He baptises you. He makes you a promise in baptism to do all these things for you. He adopts you in baptism. You belong to Him. He promises to be your God and gives to you the forgiveness of your sins, life, and salvation.

He doesn’t leave it up to you to muster up the appropriate amount of sincerity, or commitment. He is the One who is sincere. He is the One who is committed….not you… for cryin’ out loud. Would you like it if someone were to follow you around 24 hours a day for the next week and really see just how committed and sincere you really are? I didn’t think so.  And they would see just your actions or inactions…what about what’s going on inside that sinful little head and heart of yours? Well, somebody does follow you around 24 hours a day and knows every thought, word, and deed of yours. And it ain’t pretty.

I was baptised as an infant. I had no idea of what God was doing to me, and for me. But He still did it, and does it, and will continue to do it . I trust that He will. He made that promise to me in my baptism and that promise of God’s to me is good if I’m one month old or one hundred years old.

So, if some people want to poo-poo what God does in baptism and fall back into their own whatevers… then so be it. But I am asking them to leave the rest of us alone. We will not throw everything overboard because there are people that misuse the promise, or distrust the promise, or poo-poo the promise.

“Baptism saves you now also…” 1st Peter 3:21

That is water baptism! When Jesus tells us to go into all the world, baptising and teaching…He isn’t telling us to give the Spirit of God to people (only God can do that)… so baptism is what baptism is. It is what almost all of the references to baptism in the New Testament are…water baptism!

” No thanks, I’d rather rely on my own feelings of faith.”

Fine. Who’s stopping you? Have at it. I hope you don’t get dizzy on the top of that ladder. And don’t look down, lest you have a great fall.