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Why Do We Baptize....

BetteTheRed

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I think that baptism is simply the acceptance of a child into a community interested in its welfare. Does indeed take a village to raise a child.
 

Jae

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I think that baptism is simply the acceptance of a child into a community interested in its welfare. Does indeed take a village to raise a child.
In Baptist tradition, said acceptance is done without the use of water. It's called an Infant Dedication or an Infant Thanksgiving
 

Luce NDs

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In Baptist tradition, said acceptance is done without the use of water. It's called an Infant Dedication or an Infant Thanksgiving
That's just an isolated opinion ... with all the baffling distance don't you note that something else stinks other than opinions? Opinions are defined as emotionally bond to shut out anything different ... thus a' gap heh! Synapsis ... on sign these fire up .. requiring relaxation syndrome ... one can rest on it ... that small void! Tis an approximation of nothing ...
 

GeoFee

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Hi,

I have taken baptism very seriously in my personal experience. I highly value and appreciate my infant baptism into the doctrinal world of Dutch Calvinism. In many ways it laid the foundation for my full immersion baptism at the age of thirty. This voluntary action being a symbolic public witness of my determination to leave my inherited world view behind. To step out on a journey of sanctification.

The superfluous and extraneous elements of my being are falling away. This serving to reveal the divine nature at work at the heart of my being in the world. I walk in the light of God and share that light with any neighbour met along my way. I see all of this as the practice of obedience; the forsaking of my own will to make manifest the will of God. I have not yet obtained the fulness of my potential for good. I am well on the way. Thanks be to God!

George

So here is a bit of thinking from the not so distant past:

"The word obedience presents many barriers to easy acceptance in the modern world. By it we are suggesting only that covenant relationship with God depends on discovering and practicing the way of life that the Holy Spirit reveals in the testimony of the prophets, apostles, saints and sages of all times and places.


Further, we will suggest that the sacrament of baptism guarantees nothing where there is no desire and commitment to engage and uphold the revealed word and way of God. John Wesley speaks of this when he says: "There may sometimes be the outward sign where there is not the inward grace." We understand this clearly by considering the biblical record, where we find ancient Israel again and again failing to honor the substance of its covenant with God, even while holding to the external forms by which that covenant is engaged.

The breach between precept and practice is perennial in the experience of the Church, as it was in Ancient Israel. This is evident in John the Baptist’s call to repentance and the conflict between Jesus and the assorted representatives of institutional religion in Jerusalem and it environs.

Our Protestant tradition continues to exhibit the pattern of discontinuity between precept and practice. John Calvin levels a strong moral condemnation of those who continue to profess allegiance to the gospel of Jesus Christ in their religious observances while having radically deviated from the implications of the gospel to embrace the notions and ideas of an emerging secular state. (Appendix 1) This same double-mindedness is expressed from a more detached perspective by the philosopher John Stuart Mill. (Appendix 2) Mill makes it strikingly clear that the divide between precept and practice is nearly universal in the Christian congregations of his day.

With these examples in mind we are able to notice that any disconnect between the act of being baptized and the actions following baptism is significant. The baptized person keeps covenant when the whole of life is decisively oriented to the revelations of God given in the experience of ancient Israel and the gospel of Jesus Christ. Baptism is an action undertaken in faith to initiate a progressive transformation of all aspects and implications of being in the world. Without a determined commitment to this progressive transformation the act of baptism has no consequential meaning."

 

GeoFee

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One of the ongoing debates in the United Church (and likely in some other mainline churches) is when should one say yes or no to a baptism request....

In large part the way you answer that will depend on your understanding of what baptism is and signifies. In smaller part it may depend on pragmatic and political considerations...
Negotiating baptisms can be interesting. I generally suggest beginning with something of a dedication service. This opens the way to consideration of the commitment required of the baptized and the possibility of baptism in some future time. A key element is the establishing and building of relationship.

I once received a call from a grandfather. He wondered if I would baptize his new grandson. The child lived in America and the parents were planning a visit of introduction later in the year. I agreed to contact the couple. We talked and I recommended they contact local clergy, establish a relationship and discuss the meaning of baptism. That clergy could then inform me of their readiness and I would do the baptism. Well the couple had no interest. With regret, I let them know I would not do the baptism. Cost the congregation a bit. Grandpa donated two huge spruce trees every Christmas. This would not happen any longer. Grandpa was also a substantial donor. He transferred membership to a rural congregation nearby. They were greatly blessed by the presence of a new donor. God works in strange ways!
 

paradox3

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My congregation has adopted a very open baptism policy.

Some of the wording in the ceremony has been adjusted to reflect this.
 

paradox3

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What do you mean by "very open?"
The old policy had many requirements for the parents & these have been eliminated. The thinking is that the font needs to be as open as the communion table.
 

Jae

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The old policy had many requirements for the parents & these have been eliminated. The thinking is that the font needs to be as open as the communion table.
My thinking is that the communion table should be a closed one, and that only parents who will educate their children in the Christian faith should have them baptized.
 

Carolla

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My thinking is that the communion table should be a closed one, and that only parents who will educate their children in the Christian faith should have them baptized.
Lots of "shoulds" in there jae about others behaviours.
 

DaisyJane

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The old policy had many requirements for the parents & these have been eliminated. The thinking is that the font needs to be as open as the communion table.
I am thinking this is what Jesus would do.
 

Carolla

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The old policy had many requirements for the parents & these have been eliminated. The thinking is that the font needs to be as open as the communion table.
My 'prior' church also had a fairly open policy with both baptism & marriage - but I see in amalgamation that the 'other' church does not - so it will be quite interesting to see how all that works out in future.
 

Jae

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I am thinking this is what Jesus would do.
How open did Jesus make the communion table? He was with his closest followers...

"And when he had taken bread, he did thankings, and brake, and gave to them, and said, This is my body, that shall be given for you; do ye this thing in mind of me. He took also the cup, after that he had supped, and said, This cup is the new testament in my blood, that shall be shed for you." - Luke 22:19-20 (WYC).

What he did not say was that the communion table was to be open for anyone desiring to partake of.
 

DaisyJane

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Jesus hung out with a lot of people, including many people ostracized by society. I personally think he wouldn't