Whatever, we have to get this trend turned around. What will the world say if we do not?!?!? (please note the sarcasm)
Rite of baptism trickles awayTechnorati Tags:
Falling birth rate, rising secularism driving the trend
By Cathy Lynn Grossman
Every month there's a cheering, weeping, air-horn-tooting celebration at First Assembly of God in North Little Rock, Ark., when the Rev. Rod Loy immerses new believers in the baptismal tank.
“This is a sign that someone understands the ideas of sin and Christ's sacrifice and willfully chooses to be a lifelong follower of Jesus,” says the pastor. “So we celebrate it big.”
For believers, baptism is modeled on their savior, who the Bible says waded into the water to consecrate himself to God.
They may be sprinkled, washed from a flowing pitcher or immersed, as faith rituals vary. But all forms point to beliefs: rebirth in faith, salvation from sin, acceptance of God's promises and charges.
For parents who bring a baby before their church, baptism is a pledge of their faith, a shield against evil, a wrapping of communal arms around a defenseless soul.
For Christians of all denominations, “even if they never darkened the door of a church any other time in their life … there's a tendency to hold onto this life-cycle marker,” says the Rev. Paul Sullins, a sociologist at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.
Yet, this Easter, the holy day of resurrection, statistics find Americans slowly drifting away from the ancient baptismal ritual. [more]