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.