Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Born Again...Again

On Monday of this week I was baptized. Now, some of you may be saying "Kelly, what? Surely you have been baptized before, devout Christian gal that you are!" Well, that is a gray area evidently.

I was raised in the Lutheran Church. So at the ripe old age of 2 months old, I was "baptized" (sprinkled, christened). Then in the 8th grade I was confirmed into the church by making my own statement of faith and began taking communion. As I have always attended churches that accepted my sprinkling as baptism, I've always considered myself baptized.

However, my new church does not accept sprinkling. They teach that the Greek word ‘baptizo’ means to immerse, plunge, dip, or bury in water. They believe that the baptism, (full immersion into the water and rising out of the water) is symbolic of Jesus being buried and rising again. Romans 6:3-5 says "Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his."

My ministry at my former Church included leading the MOPS group, leading a Bible study, serving on the Christian school board, and being asked to serve as an elder of the church. I could not be a ministry leader at my new church with out joining, and could not join with out being immersed.

I've been thinking. Let's say the Pastor was wrong. Well, being baptized "again" wouldn't hurt anything. As my sister, ADHD, said there isn't a verse in the Bible that says "Woe to he who try-eth too hard to do-eth the right thing in God's name." BUT...what if the Pastor is right. What if my baptism (sprinkling) before was an example of man corrupting what God meant. How could I go wrong by being immersed? It just seems right to me, either way.

In all of this an ironic thing happened. I told my dad I was going to be immersed. He has already been sprinkled twice. Once as a infant in the Episcopalian church, and again as an adult in the Lutheran Church (who also sprinkle, but wouldn't accept his sprinkling with the wrong water!) He is now considering being immersed in the Baptist church he attends with his wife. My husband was also immersed with me, so we could join the church together as a couple.

What if my pastor is right? What if because I am born again by being immersed, two more are born again because of me? I get chills just thinking about. And it's not just because I'm all wet.

John 3:3 -- In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."

Luke 3:21, 22 -- When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."

Acts 2:38 -- Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every 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.


Chatty Kelly

26 comments:

Vashti said...

Awesome....Praise God!

Dorothy Champagne said...

While baptism does not "Save" you, it is an outward sign of your commitment to Christ. What a humbling servant you are to follow Jesus in baptism after you have served so faithfully. Congratulations!

Truth4thejourney said...

This is such a great post, Kelly! Congratulations to both of you. I'll be praying for your Dad and his wife, as well.

I agree with you about the what if's.

Outward signs of following God seem to be nothing but great tools leading others to Christ. :)

Love you!
Sonya

Bonita said...

Congratulations, Kelly!

I went through a similar battle at our old church. I had been saved for many years and never baptized. But my pastor was really big on baptism by immersion in the name of Jesus. However, I refused to get baptised simply because "he" believed that way when it wasn't necessarily something I had in my own heart.

Ten years later another baptismal service was coming up and I prayed about it. God led me to Colossians 2:11- In him you were circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

When I read that verse I understood the importance of baptism. I had never really grasped why it was important to me personally. I got baptized. It didn't change my salvation status one iota, but I obeyed what the Lord was impressing on my heart and that is what is important.

Gwendolyn said...

How wonderful! One of my best friends is Catholic, and she truly wanted to be baptised by immersion when she became an adult, but her church wouldn't do it. She finally just accepted it, but I thought that was sad.

Sue J. said...

I'm glad that you and your husband will now be able to serve God through the church you are attending--because that would be a huge loss to the folks who do attend that you could not serve.

May He continue to bless your ministry there as He has along the way thus far! (Still, I'm glad you're hanging out at the "old" church to lead our Bible study....)

eric921 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
My ADHD Me said...

That last one was mine. Obviously I'm not the only one in the family blogging. Interesting.

Anyway,
CONGRATULATIONS!

I didn't know Dad and wife were considering being immersed. (ahem, maybe I should call them more often)

Loved your ending!

Greg C said...

Way to go Kelly. I am so proud of you. I was Baptised that way and I get a chill every time I witness a baptism. I don't get the same feeling when I see a sprinkling so that tells me something. I really love a baptism in a river though. Those bring tears to my eyes.

The Patterson 5 said...

Congratulations! May God continue to bless you and your husbands ministry! I know many more lives will be blessed by your continued obeidiance to God!

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

Yeaahhhhhh Kelly!
I'm so excited for you! I was sprinkled Catholic, but later was dunked after I got saved, and was attending a Baptist church.
I'm truly thrilled for you. I believed and was saved way before I got baptized, but there is nuthin like standing publicly, humbling your SELF, and following Jesus' example, how He asked John to baptize Him!
I felt squeaky clean IN JESUS when I was baptized!
Like Greg said, ... I too shed tears watching others be baptized.
I wish I could have been there when you were... I would have whooHoOoed!
Love n blessings,
Lea

KelliGirl said...

Kelly,
Interesting post. I, too, was "sprinkled" and have had conversations with my pastor about immersion. (It does seem more biblical.) He doesn't believe it's necessary. Either way, I do think it is a wonderful statement to make to Jesus--much more personal than one made by our parents when we were babies and far from knowing Jesus.

I pray God richly blesses you and your family at your new church.

Luanne said...

Baptism is all about obedience and proclaiming to the world that you are a follower of Christ.

Congrats!

Zoe said...

Kelly,

How wonderful for you sweet sistah!
I was baptized in the Greek Orthodox Church as an infant and immersed as a Baptist when I became a believer.
Hallelujah!!

Jeff and Valerie Carr said...

(there's an inner voice that just says stay out of this, Valerie)

...I completely agree that baptism is a beautiful expression, an "outward symbol of an inner acceptance". within our denomination we do not practice baptism, not because we think it's 'wrong' but simply because we do not wish to confuse people with the idea that 'as long as your baptized you're a Christian' (there are a myriad of other reasons that are well documented in literature from our denomination) but for me as a pastor, I want to represent to people that Christ calls people to a relationship with Him and I want to make sure that there is no misunderstanding that it's just "Step 1, 2, and 3" and you're done and in heaven....

anyways, congratulations on taking a moment to publically acknowledge your Lord and Savior and His part in your life before your new church family!

Blessings!

Edie said...

YAY for you!!!!! Your pastor is correct about the definition of the the word baptize so that leads me to go with full immerson baptism. But more importantly, *YOU* made the decision. Not your pastor, and not your parents as was the case when you were two months old. Baptism does not save you, it is an act of obedience on *your* part.

And God used your obedience to draw three more nearer to Him too! Amen!!!

Alyce said...

Congrats Kelly!

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Hapy for you, Kelly.

Marie A. Levy said...

I guess I was sprinkled as a baby. I was then asked to take some Bible lessons at about the age of 10 where I attended with my grandmother. I thought that's all there was to it. Then at the age of 20 I realized what being a Christian was all about. I accepted Christ as my Savior and was baptised in a lake. It was an awesome experience. Way to go Kelly.

Marie A. Levy said...

I guess I was sprinkled as a baby. I was then asked to take some Bible lessons at about the age of 10 where I attended with my grandmother. I thought that's all there was to it. Then at the age of 20 I realized what being a Christian was all about. I accepted Christ as my Savior and was baptised in a lake. It was an awesome experience. Way to go Kelly.

Jess said...

oh, kelly! this is wonderful! i was baptized years after becoming a Christian and it was such an incredible thing.

i love how you share your journey - you are so gifted -

love
jess

sailorcross said...

Go, Kelly!!!

I, too, was baptized with a sprinkling when I was 6 weeks old in the Lutheran church. I look at that as my parents' commitment to raise me in the way of the Lord--just as we do children dedications now.

I was baptized again on January 29, 2006 as an outward sign of my commitment to my Lord. This was a very uplifting and emotional time for me. When I was baptized, so were a friend and his daughter--we now say that we're triplets, and this is our "Spiritual Birthday".

Congratulations to you and your hubby!!

Beth

HisPrincess said...

I'm confused and concerned about the whole issue.

It just stresses me out. I was baptised as an infant in the Anglican church. I worry that it's not enough. Then I remember the verses that say we are saved by grace, not by baptism, or by any other practice. We are saved by grace and the cross. So...what to do. My church has no issue with either infant baptism, or full immersion.

I don't want to be baptised just to tick the box, but I don't want to not be baptised and not be saved.

Kay Martin said...

Beautiful!!! All the "wrangling of words" over baptism astonishes me. Of course, it's symbolic...so why not? I was a sprinkled Methodist, a "dunked" Baptist, and I know if God said this is My Way; I want to do all within my power to comply.

I so admire you and your husband. You inspire me often, but here on this post and then your comments on my blog have been truly life giving. I mentioned you today in my blog and gave your url so others may be blessed by your writing.

God bless you and yours.

Jessica said...

I've been baptized like three times. Twice sprinkled and once when I was a baptist.
:-)
Congrats on the baptism. It's wonderful.

Mrs. Sidney said...

That is awesome!! I was baptized Catholic as a baby and last year I decided to be immersed... when I told my mom she didn't understand why I was doing it again. I think it is amazing your dad is thinking about doing it too.

Thanks for sharing.